Sydney the city for book lovers

Book-lovers-have-a-home-in-Sydney-if-the-latest-news-is-anything-to-go-by_157_84904_0_14101134_300Sydney is being positioned as something of a city of letters – a hub for readers, writers and lovers of literature.

On September 29, the city announced it was committing $1.5 million worth of sponsorship to the Sydney Writers’ Festival, the largest sum it had ever provided for the festival. As part of the commitment, it will give a yearly boost of $360,000 in cash and $110,000 of in-kind sponsorship to the festival until 2017. The funds will back a children’s and young adult program to better reach these demographics, as well as live streaming technology to back the events to regional areas.

The festival is a world-renowned event that annually brings in tens of thousands of visitors to the city. Attendance grew by leaps and bounds from the 24,450 visitors on its debut in 1998 to the throngs of 89,000 people seen this year.

“The festival shines the international spotlight on our city, boosting tourism and bringing significant benefits to the local economy,” Lord Mayor Clover Moore said, explaining the reasoning behind the funding.

Meanwhile, the following months will see a number of the city’s cherished bookstores, such as Pott Points Bookshop and the Better Read Than Dead Bookstore in Newton, offer author talks and other events with the help of local talents.

The events will be held in the bookstores themselves, as well as local libraries. The vast majority of these events are free, and will feature figures like photographer Bleddyn Butcher discussing his photograph collection that traces Nick Cave’s career, or journalist Annabel Crabb, who will speak on the role of the wife in Australian culture and history.

These initiatives are a great example of why Sydney is considered one of the most livable cities in the world, along with Australia as a whole. Such fantastic, government-sponsored events routinely draw people in to the Harbour City, not just as temporary visitors providing a boost to the local economy, but as permanent residents wanting to make the city their home.

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