Run by the South African Book Development Council (SABDC) in partnership with the Department Of Arts and Culture, National Book Week is South Africa’s dedicated reading awareness week. – celebrating its tenth anniversary with the hashtag #NBWturns10 in 2019.

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NBW aims to mitigate the findings of the 2007 study that revealed that:


Only 14% of South Africans read books.


Over half of all South African households (58%) do not own a single leisure reading book.

This disturbing insight highlights a barrier to the country’s development efforts as reading and literacy are at the heart of personal growth, community development and a thriving nation.

Every year, during the first week of September, we visit locations in all 9 provinces to engage with audiences from all walks of life. Pre-schoolers, grade R to 12 learners, the youth, adults and elders from communities throughout the country participate in various programme activities. This annual campaign is aimed at uncovering the thrill and magic of sharing #OURSTORIES by increasing access to books and changing perceptions around reading.


You can get involved in National Book Week by taking part in our #BUYABOOK campaign.


All National Book Week events promote a key message to encourage reading as a fun activity with each province or location tailoring the programme to meet local demands. There is a strong focus on promoting indigenous languages, local authors, as well as library awareness – all aspects that form part of our broader book development plan.