Highest Number of Singapore Literary Works Selected for READ! Singapore 2010

Release Date : 26 May 2010

Poetry is included for the first time in this nation-wide reading initiative

SINGAPORE, 26 May 2010 – The National Library Board (NLB) officially launched READ! Singapore 2010 today. Into its sixth year, the nation-wide reading initiative promotes a culture of reading fiction among Singaporeans. The theme of this year's campaign is "Roads Less Travelled" which aims to encourage Singaporeans from different walks of life to share their perspectives in making unconventional life choices.


Selected works feature Singapore literary talents

In line with the theme, eight novels, eight short stories and five poems in the four official languages, written by well-known local and international authors, were selected by the READ! Singapore Steering Committee, with one title voted by the public. This is the first time that poetry is included to provide a greater variety of literary works. The selected works explore the different scenarios in which the characters took the roads less travelled in their lives. Each of the short stories is translated into the other three official languages and compiled into four anthologies, together with the poems, to encourage Singaporeans to read across cultures and communities. This year's selection also features the most number of literary works written by Singaporean and Singapore-based authors.


New initiatives to engage youths and the community-at-large

Apart from meet-the-author sessions, book discussions and reading carnivals, READ! Singapore 2010 will feature the first-ever infocomm-enabled nation-wide reading event, Read! IT.

Organised by NLB and the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore, Read! IT will feature teams of readers simultaneously reading over a two-hour period at six different venues on 18 July 2010. They will be streamed online via a collaborative platform, www.readit.sg (operational from 1 July 2010 onwards). The public can view the six reading groups creatively read or present their selected books in the form of a live dance, mime performance or skit. They can also tweet about Read! IT, vote for their favourite team and participate in online teasers to win attractive prizes.

Another highlight of this year's campaign is Game2Read, a joint initiative with the Singapore Cybersports and Online Gaming Association to encourage the gaming community and youths to re-discover the joy of reading. This will be done through book discussions on gaming-related titles, gaming competitions, a cyber-wellness exhibition and other activities related to gaming and reading. These activities will be held over a two-day period from 26 to 27 June at The Plaza, National Library Building.

"In this digital age, it is common for youths to spend many hours online on social networks and playing their favourite computer games. Through Read! IT, Game2Read, and various other exciting programmes organised as part of READ! Singapore 2010, we want to engage more youths and the wider community to pick up the selected literary works, read and discuss with one another, and in the process, cultivate a passion for reading and lifelong learning. We hope that the programmes would spark their imagination and encourage them to discover new possibilities in their lives," said Dr N Varaprasad, Chief Executive, NLB.

READ! Singapore 2010 will run from 26 May to 30 August. During this 14-week period, Singaporeans can look forward to a wide range of reading-related events happening at various locations around Singapore