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Department of Economics


The final component of our study investigates readers.

The full final report, Australian Book Readers: Survey Method and Results is now available.

A summary of the report, Reading the Reader: A Survey of Australian Reading Habits is available on the Australia Council's website

Australia has long prided itself as a reading nation. This part of the study surveys a nationally representative sample of Australians to ask them how they value the contribution books and book publishing have made to their own lives and Australian society in the broadest possible sense.

Whether or not people choose to read particular kinds of books, they may value the fact that a viable Australian publishing industry produces them. These values may be due to a bequest value for future generations; option value, to consume at a later date; altruism; and other benefits.

The study examines a range of issues including:

  • willingness to pay for printed books and e-books and reasons why;
  • participants' awareness of the Australian book publishing industry and links made (if any) with their valuations accorded to books and book reading; and,
  • new forms of value being created in the digital environment for book readers.

The views of book readers and non-readers were sought in this survey. The respondents were randomly selected and recruited by a professional market research agency.