Publishing Research Quarterly

, Volume 28, Issue 4, pp 325–339 | Cite as

More than Michael Moore: Contemporary Australian Book Reading Patterns and the Wars on Iraq and Afghanistan

  • Jan ZwarEmail author


Set in a period of heightened public debate in the 2000s and with predictions of the demise of printed books in the background, this study examines whether Australians turned to books in relation to some of the most heated international issues of the era: those associated with the wars on Iraq and Afghanistan. Analysis of the data reveals that over one and a half million books worth over AUS $50 million (AUS $50,213,000) which could be read directly in relation to debates about the wars were sold in the 6 years timeframe and far more if indirect reading is included. This research is one of the first major scholarly studies internationally to identify English-language contemporary reading patterns based on Nielsen BookScan sales data and is located in an illustrative timeframe (2003–2008): after the introduction of Nielsen BookScan in Australia and before the popularity of ebooks.


Australia Autobiography Biography English-language publishing Journalism Narrative non-fiction books Polemics Public debate Reading patterns 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Economics, Faculty of Business and Economics (Building E4A)Macquarie UniversitySydneyAustralia

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