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Ready to Read

For those who do not read regularly, the introduction of reading into your daily life can lead to improve vocabulary, spelling, problem solving, relaxation and have a positive impact on your social and cultural relations. Through reading, you can gain insights and new perspectives, be provided with possibilities and knowledge, and improve your emotional intelligence and empathy through better understanding yourself and others. Australian Reading Hour is on Thursday 19 September 2019, and all Australians are encouraged to pick up a book for one hour and read. The ability to access literature is a vital part of ensuring that everyone has an opportunity to gain in the benefits of reading. Fortunately, in Glenferrie Hawthorn there are a variety of ways to access reading.

Boroondara Libraries

Myra Dowling from the Hawthorn Library

Many turn to local libraries when it comes to accessing different forms of literature and we have the Hawthorn Library (584 Glenferrie Road, Hawthorn) right here, forming a vital part of our community. The Hawthorn Library has the largest collection of items across all City of Boroondara libraries, home to just over 117,000 books, audio books, DVDs and music CDs. In 2018-19 over 231,283 items were borrowed. If books are damaged or taken out of circulation in the library, they are sold at the Kew Library/Historical Society book sale and books from the large print collection are circulated through local aged care facilities.

Although varying month to month, during busy times (school holiday periods) the Hawthorn library can see up to 16,000 visitors and up to 1,300 new member sign ups per month. The Hawthorn Library is not only a place to borrow books, movies and music but is also often a meeting place, host to events, houses a collection of material on the local history, and offers a number of services. Some services include: booking computers, meeting rooms, study spaces, access to printing and scanning and a home library service that delivers library items to Boroondara residents who are not able to visit in person due to age, frailty or disability. Events hosted include school holiday and after school programs, book talks, technology tutorials, toddler story time, English Conversation Club, writing workshops, poetry nights and more.

The Hawthorn Library will be closed from 6pm 19 September and will reopen at 10am 7 October for upgrades. Items can be borrowed and returned from any of the other City of Boroondara libraries during this time.

Did you know?

The library purchases books based on demand and can have up to 30 copies of a particular book, allowing members to reserve and be added to the wait-list for those 'must read' items. At the moment there are 47 people on the wait list to borrow Margaret Atwood's new book The Testaments, and this wait-list was before the book had even been published. Michelle Obama's book Becoming was another hit - the library purchased 50 copies due to the 100 library members on the wait-list.

Local Bookstore

Our local bookstore Readings (701 Glenferrie Road, Hawthorn) offers a huge selection of literature for adults and children alike, with thousands of different titles in genres from crime to cooking. The friendly staff in store will help you find a book that is right for you. If Readings do not have a specific book you are after, they will order the book for you - even if it is only in print overseas. Readings have handwritten notes all around the store with staff recommendations, frequently have in-store book sales, and regularly host free or low cost book launches and conversations with authors and writers.

Inside Readings Hawthorn (701 Glenferrie Road)

Street Libraries

Street Library at 13 Kent Street, Hawthorn.

In recent years throughout neighbourhoods all over the world, including here in Hawthorn, community book exchanges, 'little libraries' or ‘street libraries’ have emerged. These are small boxes, typically made out of recycled material by members of the community, which house donated books to be borrowed and swapped by passersby. Local resident, Melinda, expressed the importance of book exchanges in our neighbourhoods: "It is a great way to create a community vibe and to be more sustainable - and more literary! "

Street Library at 77 Wattle Road, Hawthorn.

Some of the book exchanges in our neighbourhood are located at 13 Kent Street, Hawthorn, Jetts Gym at 1/740 Glenferrie Road, Hawthorn (inside the front foyer) and 77 Wattle Road, Hawthorn. You may be inspired to share your love of reading and encourage others to read by creating your own little library. You can find little libraries all over the world, and register your own, at

However you access a book, whether it be through your local library, your local bookstore or from a street library in your neighbourhood, on Thursday 19 September pick up a book and read for an hour on your own or with the children in your life.

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