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Random Acts of Reading


e4fb0b55-6175-4fbb-8a49-a96ec2f7e941Byron Writers Festival gifts books to local cafes for patrons to read and pass on.

Byron Writers Festival and local cafes across the region are spreading kindness and connection through the act of reading.

Research shows that random acts of kindness can release an enormous chain of positive events. The miracle of kindness is that it is contagious. Furthermore, mounting evidence suggests that reading (particularly literary fiction) broadens our minds and improves our ability to empathise with others. What happens when you bring these things together? Random Acts of Reading.

In the lead up to Byron Writers Festival (2-4 August), more than 150 books by authors appearing at the Festival will be dropped at cafes across towns in Northern NSW for people to pick up, read and pass on. The books will be wrapped so people won’t know what they’re getting when they first pick them up.

“The joy of reading is something we hold dear to our hearts at Byron Writers Festival,” says Festival Director Edwina Johnson “We love the tradition of books being circulated between friends, passing through many hands and starting conversations. We love the idea of delighting strangers in local cafés across the region with the gift of a book. We hope they pass them on to someone else or return them to the cafe in the spirit of Random Acts of Reading.”

“We’re grateful for the generosity of Byron Writers Festival, in including our customers in this awesome initiative, Random Acts Of Reading,” said Anthony of Combi café in Byron Bay “Pop in to Combi, grab an endless cup of Chai or coffee and nestle in the winter sunshine with one of the books.”

Paula from The Bank Café in Lismore commented “Many of my favourite daily interactions with our cafe-goers revolve around what they’re currently reading. This wonderful initiative by Byron Writers Festival serves to bring us all onto the same page (pun intended) and is a collaboration of inclusion!”

Cafes taking part in Byron Writers Festival’s Random Acts of Reading include
Combi – Byron Bay
Woods – Bangalow
Jones & Co. – Brunswick Heads
Baker & Daughters – Mullumbimby
Shelter – Lennox Head
The Stockpot Kitchen – Lismore
The Bank Café – Lismore

Just some of the books by authors appearing at the Festival being gifted to cafes include Bridge of Clay by Markus ZusakAny Ordinary Day by Leigh SalesThe Erratics by Vicki Laveau-Harvie and Preservation by Jock Serong.

Byron Writers Festival would like to thank the following publishers for making Random Acts of Reading possible: Affirm Press, Allen & Unwin, Bloomsbury Publishing, Harper Collins, MUP, New South Publishing, Pan MacMillan, Penguin Random House Australia, Scribe, Simon & Schuster, Text Publishing, Transit Lounge, Walker Books.

Byron Writers Festival 2019
Festival Dates: 2-4 August 2019


The Common Ground of Byron Bay. If you wish to contribute, please contact: Kirra Pendergast P: 0408 068 824 E: kirra@commongroundaustralia.com


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