National Book Week is a national awareness campaign to promote the importance of reading and the book. The campaign aims to engage the public and create awareness around the critical role books play in South Africa’s development so that more people can take action in getting South Africans reading.

NBW is a non-partisan, neutral awareness campaign, that does not promote any one company, business, project or brand. It collaborates with multiple stakeholders and partners with the expressed aim of increasing reading in South Africa.

What is National Book Week?

  • The 7th annual National Book Week (NBW), which runs from the 05th -11th September 2016, is a national campaign brought to you by the South African Book Development Council, in partnership with the Department of Arts and Culture.
  • It is a national awareness campaign to promote the importance of reading and the role that a book plays in building the nation.
  • NBW provides an overarching platform to get the nation reading and will be celebrated across all nine provinces of South Africa.

How long has NBW been running?

  • National Book Week has been running since 2010.

How can we get involved?

  • The public is encouraged to support this campaign by buying a book for only R20 during National Book Week at either Bargain Books or Exclusive Books and dropping it in the National Book Week donation bins; books can also be purchased on Takealot.com.
  • Join Funda Bala in making South Africa a reading nation. Share the joy of reading this National Book Week with everyone you know.
  • Share a book, visit your local Library, volunteer in the programme in your province or read to a child. You can also create your own reading activities and let us know about it.
  • Order posters and bookmarks from NBW through bookweek@sabookcouncil.co.za

Why should we be interested?

  • What is alarming is that more than half of South African homes do not have a single leisure book to read. This is a key motivator for the #BUY_A_BOOK and #READ_A_BOOK strategy under the National Book Week Campaign
  • According to the Ministerial Task Team Report by the Department of Arts and Culture, it is estimated that only one percent (1%) of the South African population are book buyers.
  • Moreover, a 20-year study across 27 countries reported “having as few as 20 books in the home has a significant impact in propelling a child to higher levels of education.”
  • Numerous research studies over the years show clearly that good readers with high levels of reading fluency do well in all school subjects.

Who are the books donated to?

  • Books will be donated to key NBW supported initiatives and to those who do not have books in their homes.

What is the theme for NBW?


Do you take monetary donations?

  • All monetary donations will be used to #BUY_A_BOOK for the NBW campaign. Please get in touch with bookweek@sabookcouncil.co.za to discuss.

May we donate 2nd-hand books?

  • We do not take second-hand donations, but we encourage you to share the joy of reading and pass on the book to empower someone of your choice.
  • Through our #BUY_A_BOOK campaign, we donate new books to individuals and households in SA. So during NBW (5-11 September) you can go into any Bargain Books, Exclusive Books or Takealot.com and buy selected titles for as little as R20 to donate to the National Book Week campaign.

How can we get onto the NBW programme?

  • We are always interested in talking about new ideas and expanding our programme. Please kindly send an email with your intentions to bookweek@sabookcouncil.co.za and you will be directed accordingly. Please be sure to specify how you would like to get involved.

Do we need to register to participate in #READ_A_BOOK or #BUY_A_BOOK?

  • No! Simply visit our participating retailers such as Exclusive Books, Bargain Books and Takealot.com to #BUY_A_BOOK for R20 or
  • Visit www.sabookcouncil.co.za for ideas on what to do to promote reading.

How can we get Funding for programmes relevant to National Book Week?

  • We do not offer funding.
  • Should you have an idea or a programme that you would like to propose to us, please get in touch with bookweek@sabookcouncil.co.za and you will be directed accordingly.

How can we get donations of books?

  • If you have or support an organization or a library or school that is in need of books, please get in touch with us and we will discuss how to get books into the hands of all South Africans.

Can we use your logo?

  • National Book Week has specific guidelines for the use of our logo. Therefore, apart from the approved persons, the NBW logo can only be used on official NBW communiqué.
  • However, there is a National Book Week logo strip, which can be supplied to you upon request.

Can I be an ambassador? I like reading.

  • National Book Week official ambassadors are handpicked by the organizers of the campaign as well as the regional hosts of National Book Week.
  • However, we do also encourage other avid book readers to share and spread the joy of reading. There are many levels one could get involved in National Book Week, please visit www.sabookcouncil for more details on this.