Life distractions take their toll, and two-and-a‐half million Australians haven't read a book in over three years, while one third (35 per cent) admit they've lied about reading books, according to new research from Audible.com.au.
From the thrill of adolescence to the stress of climbing the corporate ladder and the responsibility of raising a family; the busy daily grind has meant the majority of the nation has missed out on many of the great stories of their time, with two thirds of Australians (66 per cent) admitting they're simply too busy and don't have the time to catch up. To show Aussies just how simple it is to find time to read, Audible.com.au has today launched its new campaign, Listen To Your Book.
Taking inspiration from Roxette's smash hit Listen To Your Heart, and starring Australian Actor Craig McLachlan and Comedian Jordan Raskopoulis, the hilarious video demonstrates the many ways Aussies can fit audiobooks into their busy lives. To get Australians up to speed on all of the books they've missed out on reading over the years, Audible has today also launched its -Listen List', a specially curated list of audiobooks including everything from the classics to bestsellers – meaning busy Aussies can now catch up on decades of missed reading, listening to their books on the go.
National research findings:
Life getting in the way of a good book: Three in five (60 per cent) admit various time pressures lead to not having enough time to read for leisure, or read as often as they would like, with family commitments the second highest reason (20 per cent), followed by work commitments (19 per cent) and social media (17 per cent).
Aussies lie about reading to appear more intelligent: One third (35 per cent) of Aussies would lie about reading a book, with the main reason given by these potential book-bluffers being to improve self-image (42 per cent), including to appear more educated (20 per cent) and to impress someone else (18 per cent).
Fantasy, Historical Drama and Self-help top of the lie list: The top two titles people say they would lie about reading include The Harry Potter series by J.K Rowling and War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy in equal place, closely followed by Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice and Dale Carnegie's How To Win Friends and Influence People rounding out the top five.
Aussies suffer from reading regret: Over half the nation (60 per cent) wishes they had read at least one book from a list of some of the most popular titles. Of those people, three quarters (73 per cent) wish they had read -the classics' and half (50 per cent) wish they'd read books from the high school curriculum.
Top 5 books on the nation's reading wish list: Amongst those with a wish list, War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy (24 per cent1) tops the list, followed by The Life Changing Magic of not Giving a F**k by Sarah Knight (22 per cent), 1984 by George Orwell (17 per cent), The Catcher in The Rye by J.D. Salinger (17 per cent) and The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald (16 per cent).
The figures are the proportions of those who wish they had read one of the listed books Audible Ltd spokesperson, Tracey Markham says: 'Our latest research shows that people wish they had time to read more, and some even go so far as to lie about reading titles that they haven't gotten to. To help Aussies get up to speed, Audible's Listen List has been specially curated to include the titles show up most frequently on people's wish lists. It includes everything from the modern classics to the latest best sellers, allowing people to listen to their books whilst juggling their busy schedules."
Audible.com.au Head Of Operations, Matthew Gain says: 'As a nation we are busier than ever and this has meant that many of us just can't dedicate time to sitting down to read; we've got to take the kids to school, commute to work and do the shopping instead. Audiobooks are transforming the way we are able to consume books and are enabling Aussies to turn dead time into listening time."
Comedian and star of Audible's Listen To Your Book campaign, Jordan Raskopoulos says: 'Life can be a super busy thing. There's a constant expectation to be -on' all the time and it feels like there's never time to sit down and actually read a book. Audiobooks are perfect for me and other time-poor people to be able to engage with a story while juggling other commitments. I've recently revisited Frank Herbert's Dune and Stephen King's The Dark Tower. I'm a bit ashamed to admit that I've never read Pride and Prejudice ‐ but it's definitely on my listen list."
To browse Audible's Listen List visit audible.com.au/listentoyourbook.
Question: Why haven't you read a book in years?
Jordan Raskopoulous: I still read but nowhere near as much as I used to. It's hard to find time to dedicate to reading when juggling so many commitments as a freelance creative.
Question: How do you still get your book fix, even though you are time poor?
Jordan Raskopoulous: I started off by just googling photos of books but that didn't seem to cut the mustard because I couldn't look inside them. Then I gave audiobooks a crack.
Question: Why did you decide to team up with Audible Australia to launch Listen to Your Book?
Jordan Raskopoulous: I liked the vision for the project. I love an 80s vibe. Plus I was already an Audible customer so it was an easy decision for me to jump on board.
Question: What was it like working with Craig McLachlan?
Jordan Raskopoulous: He was dreadful. He kept pretending he was a vampire. It was funny at first but it got really tiring and he just kept trying to push it. (Jokes! Of course I loved working with him)
Question: What are the classic books, you're ashamed to admit, you haven't read?
Jordan Raskopoulous: I've never read Pride and Prejudice. I've read the zombie one but not the prequel.
Question: Previously would you have lied about reading these books?
Jordan Raskopoulous: No, I don't lie. Lying is illegal. It's why I was so upset about Craig's vampire shenanigans.
Question: What books from the Listen List are you going to listen to, this year?
Jordan Raskopoulous: The Handmaid's Tale. I studied it at University but would like to go back to it before the TV series is released.
Interview by Brooke Hunter