Books can be an easy step into another world. But how many of us read incessantly as a children then put the books down as adults?
These people will all tell you there's no need to stop.
Reading is still well and truly alive among Australia's hobbies.
An Australian Council for the Arts survey in 2017 revealed 95 per cent of Australians enjoy reading books for pleasure or interest.
But two thirds would like to read more.
Some Bendigoneans are actively working to help people like this.
Librarians are unsurprisingly among them.
Bendigo's library will join in the state-wide Autumn Book Binge 2020 during the next three months.
The "binge" aims to get adults reading books they otherwise wouldn't.
It might be alternative worlds, it might be fact to fiction, it might be books with an animal in the title (aka 'Beastly Titles').
Bendigo librarian Vivien Newton said the binge was "for fun really", nothing more, nothing less.
"Kids always get all the fun book reading stuff, so this is just a way to get adults reading, talking about what they're reading," Ms Newton said.
"Adults are very good at reading just what they like all the time. But sometimes it's worth picking a book off the shelf that's in a completely different style to what you ready. It will open all sorts of doors."
True crime, Australian outback fiction, the original versions of TV series and Mystery are among these popular genres, Ms Newton said.
The Weekend by Charlotte Woods and Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens are currently the Bendigo Library's most popular books.
In e-audio and e-books it's Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty and The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris.
Reading new genres is a chance to get a different look at the world, Ms Newton said.
"If you're only reading a particular style of book, or a particular author. One, you can run out. But you have a narrow view of the world then too," she said.
"If this prompt people to read Aboriginal writers, it's going to broaden their view of the world.
"It's going to give you a look at something that is from a different perspective. And that's always good to do."
Goldfields Libraries is on board with the three-month challenge, alongside all of Victoria's public libraries. There's even some prizes to be won.
Read more: Bendigo librarian calls time after 41 years
And for Ms Newton a particularly the challenge has become more timely than perhaps planned.
"If everyone has to self-isolate at the moment, this gives you a reason for doing something else," she said.
Reading is about more than just the story for some.
Bendigo's Tough Guy Book Club meets every month to talk about their latest read, over a couple of beers.
The group is one chapter in an Australia-wide movement.
President Jamie Rooney jokes he joined the club because his wife made him. He'd seen an ad on Facebook, made a joke about it being like a motorcycle club.
But it's meant he's met people he would never have otherwise. Not from Bendigo, nor Australia, Mr Rooney didn't know anyone when he first moved to the city.
"The book club has really helped, I've met a lot of phenomenal people in Bendigo," he said.
"[And] I've read a lot of books I would never have ever considered picking up."
Adults are very good at reading just what they like all the time. But sometimes it's worth picking a book off the shelf that's in a completely different style to what you ready, and it will open all sorts of doors.Vivien Newton, Librarian
Camaraderie is a key part of the group for many of the men involved, Mr Rooney said.
"In Australia there's a certain level of social isolation throughout the countryside," he said.
"It's amazing to be able to come into town, have an excuse to get out.
"Honestly there's been weeks we get there, and half of the people have only read half of the book, and they come along and have a chat."
Reading had always been an escape for Mr Rooney.
But the club has also meant he's gotten out of a "horrible rut" of re-reading the same book for the 10th or 11th time.
He's picked up books he would never have read otherwise, for instance Eye of the Sheep by Sofie Laguna.
Each month the men read the same book as every other group.
These are decided each year by group leaders together. The essential theme is strong male characters, of whatever variety.
The groups all ask the same questions.
But their discussion varies wildly.
"It's all about getting guys to read books they wouldn't have read before and get them to question what it means to be a man," Mr Rooney said.
Books - like everything else - have to come from somewhere.
Garry Murray has sold books for about 35 years.
He set up Book Now in Wills Street, but the shop now occupies a storefront on Farmers Lane.
Inside a network of bookshelves fills the ground floor. Up a level, shelves line the walls of a loft-like balcony.
Mr Murray joked that he began the store simply because he had too many books.
At the time he was working in industry in Melbourne.
In 35 years "everything and nothing" has changed about the book trade, he said.
Mr Murray used to chase all over the state for books. Now supply is almost too good in Bendigo, as a generation downsizes.
But, he said, people can now buy books online, sit at home, and have them delivered too their door within days.
Tastes have changed too in more than three decades. Twenty years ago historical things sold well. Classics are always popular.
One thing's still true:
"Good books sell, that's basically what it comes down to," Mr Murray said.
Himself, Mr Murray doesn't have time to read much any more.
"I used to read all the time. But since computers and whatever. I seem to spend all my time on the computer doing GST," he said.
When he does get a chance to sit down with a book, it's normally a novel. He's a particular fan of Japanese crime fiction.
Find out more about the Autumn Book Binge at, slv.vic.gov.au/stories/autumn-book-binge.
Bendigo's Tough Guy Book Club meets 7pm, first Wednesday of every month, at the Bridge Hotel.
For more information, visit: toughguybookclub.com/
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