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 longest running and most recognised reading promotion campaign – 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.