Roping in readers for Singapore books
New initiative launched to promote reading of local literature
Come the last week of this month, book lovers will have the opportunity to have tea with literary pioneer Catherine Lim and learn more about her writing career.
Ms Lim's books have become literature examination texts for the international GCE O-level exams.
Attendees can also listen to recitals of Singapore love poetry at the National Gallery, or walk around Marina Bay with author and The New Paper sports columnist Neil Humphreys to find out more about the real stories behind Marina Bay Sins, his 2014 series of crime thrillers.
These are some of the 42 Singapore-centric literary programmes you can enjoy from Feb 24 to 26 as part of the new #BuySingLit initiative, which was launched yesterday.
The initiative aims to promote reading and purchasing Singapore literature, or "SingLit", and it is the first time different players in the local book industry are coming together to raise awareness for local literature on such a large scale.
There will be local-centric book fairs, workshops, storytelling sessions and more organised by 30 partners from the Singapore book industry, including local publishers such as Epigram and Lingzi Media, distributors such as Pansing, and bookstores like BooksActually, MPH and Books Kinokuniya.
The movement is supported by the National Book Development Council of Singapore and funded by the National Arts Council (NAC).
Among the commissioned works for the campaign is a set of four "Ticket Books".
The books are a compilation of new works featuring local authors and illustrators such as Balli Kaur Jaswal and Joshua Ip.
Each book will also come with a Nets FlashPay card with a pre-loaded value of $5 to be used on public transport, to encourage people to read on the go.
Each book will be sold at $15 in major bookstores from Feb 24.
At the launch of #BuySingLit at City Book Room, a bookstore in North Bridge Road yesterday, representatives of the organising partners highlighted the importance of supporting local literature.
Mr Kenny Leck, co-founder of BooksActually, said it was nice to see distributors, writers, publishers and retailers all coming together to give the local literature scene a push.
He also hopes to see the initiative return with more partners, in the years to come.
Mr Paul Tan, the covering chief executive officer of NAC, said the council was happy to support the "possibly overdue" initiative because a vibrant ecosystem is important for arts to be sustainable.
He pointed out the competition faced by local literature from foreign books and said: "How can we tell people overseas to read our literature if we don't read it ourselves?"
Local poet, Aaron Lee, who has published three books with Ethos Books, is also involved.
The consultant lawyer will read two of his love poems at the National Gallery on Feb 25.
He said: "I'm delighted that this effort is a grassroots effort in that the whole industry is coming together. "