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For it is in the simple act of reading where the living and the dead, the real and the imagined, meet. It is in the simple act of reading where we exercise those two most sacred of human vocations: compassion and creativity. For as we know, without either of these primes there is no possibility for a humanity present or past worth talking about. Junot Diaz

For it is in the simple act of reading where the living and the dead, the real and the imagined, meet. It is in the simple act of reading where we exercise those two most sacred of human vocations: compassion and creativity. For as we know, without either of these primes there is no possibility for a humanity present or past worth talking about. Junot Diaz

A collection of essays and memoir pieces on the topic of reading, in particular what it means for writers to be readers and how that has shaped their life. The Simple Act of Reading will support Sydney Story Factory by emphasising the importance of reading in shaping an individual’s future.

Contributors include; Debra Adelaide, Joan London, Delia Falconer, Sunil Badami, Gabrielle Carey, Luke Davies, Tegan Bennett Daylight, Kate Forsyth, Giulia Giuffre, Andy Griffiths, Anita Heiss, Gail Jones, Jill Jones, Catherine Keenan, Malcolm Knox, Wayne Macauley, Fiona McFarlane, David Malouf, Rosie Scott, Carrie Tiffany and Geordie Williamson.

Reviews

All dedicated readers have an unspoken hope, indeed most have a powerful inner sense, that reading is making them wiser, larger … better. This belief is affirmed again and again in these 21 essays. It is a paean to the solitary, silent act of ingesting words and inhabiting the worlds they create. It might be that this collection of essays does no more than confirm to us addicts the full arc of the reading high; no more than explain in words a pleasure we are serially sated by. But it does so, by-and-large, with the potency of the stuff it explains – it is a lovingly written catalogue of the first books, the favourite books, the highs, the craic … the getting better. This book, with its many affirmations and declarations, is pretty close to being archaeological and doctrinal proof of the personally transubstantive act that is reading.

Anson Cameron, The Age

The Simple Act of Reading is a great compendium of knowledge because it mines the memories of numerous wordsmiths in search of their reading epiphanies. The Simple Act of Reading brims with joy, nostalgia and affection. Sunil Badami sums up beautifully why we cherish certain books: "because they say, in ways we can't, things we wish we could. They're not sermons but conversations, reminding us we're not alone, we're not the only person to feel this way."

Thuy On, The Sunday Age

From the warmth and generosity of spirit exhibited by these writers in sharing their deeply personal and richly evolved insights, we learn more about why books and reading are critical to the continuation of a strong and resilient culture. We also come to appreciate the part they can play in our individual growth and development into effective human beings with the courage and willingness to seek meaning and understanding from within our own hearts and minds and from the wider world we inhabit and share with others.

Suzanne Marks, Newtown Review of Books

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Formats & editions

  • Trade Paperback

    9780857986245

    June 1, 2015

    Vintage Australia

    240 pages

    RRP $29.99

    Online retailers

    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Dymocks
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • The Nile
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • EBook

    9780857986252

    June 1, 2015

    Random House Australia

    240 pages

    Online retailers

    • iBooks
    • Amazon Kindle
    • Booktopia
    • eBooks
    • Google Play
    • Kobo
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

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