For Ursula Dubosarsky, reading is a pleasure she has never been able to live without.
But as soon as she learned she would be named Australia's next ambassador for Australian children's literature, she began casting around for a way to bring her own love of books into the lives of as many people as possible.
"I thought to myself, one of the best things, surely, that anybody could do for their children is to get them to join their local public library, actually get their own library card with their name on it," she said.
The award-winning writer of more than 60 books for children was named the Children's Laureate for 2020-21 at a ceremony at the National Library of Australia on Tuesday.
The laureate is the national ambassador for reading and Australian children's literature, appointed every two years to promote the importance and transformational power of reading, creativity and story in the lives of young Australians.
She joins previous Australian Laureates Alison Lester, Boori Monty Pryor, Jackie French, Leigh Hobbs, Morris Gleitzman.
Dubosarsky's slogan for her tenure is 'Read For Your Life', and is as much about inspiring people to read as it is about describing a society that places value on reading for the sake of it.
"The thing about reading is it's also a profound pleasure in life, it's not all about being fine literate citizens, which is obviously incredibly important, but it shouldn't be a grim thing for children, reading," she said.
"It's pleasure-driven - the children who love reading love it!"
The author of classics such as The Blue Cat and How To be A Great Detective said although she had grown up with a love of reading from a young age, for many reading was a skill that needed dedication and practice.
"I guess my feeling about it is that we're living in this absolutely fabulous and marvellous and exhilarating digital age, and that is a challenge in terms of time in the day and so on for children to be doing a lot of reading," she told The Canberra Times.
"But the fact is if we want our children to be good readers - and I think we can accept that the wisdom of society wants our children to be good readers - we have to realise that in this digital age, we need to adapt and find more deliberate time for helping children to be good readers.
"The only way to become a better reader, there's only one way and it's by reading. You have to read more, there's no other way, there's no magic thing."
She said while many children enjoyed reading in primary school, they lost the habit and knack for it in high school.
She had watched with alarm as new schools were opening with no libraries at all, while others were renaming their library facilities as "information" or "research centres".
"A library is a research resource, but it's actually an imagination centre," she said. "Sometimes I think people in high schools are maybe looking at a library and thinking it's a place where you go and research your projects, but actually it's a source of imaginative literature that people want to read."