Featuring guests such as local actor Li Nanxing, Taiwanese TV host Sisy Chen and Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Home Affairs and National Development Sun Xueling, the Singapore Book Fair returns in a revamped form for its 35th year.

It will go online.

The eight-day event, which runs from May 18 to 25, will comprise 30 live and pre-recorded programmes that Singaporeans can stream online from home.

With local and overseas authors’ sharing sessions and Singapore politicians and celebrities dialling in to share their favourite reads, the event, organised by Singapore Press Holdings’ Chinese Media Group, hopes to promote reading.

It will feature more than 20 overseas and local publishers and book retailers, offering over 1,000 English and Chinese titles to be sold online.

Ms Loh Woon Yen, chairman of the Singapore Book Fair organising committee, said: “Many events had to be cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic, including the Singapore Book Fair 2020, which was scheduled to take place at Capitol Singapore this year.

“This prompted us to bring the event online to continue promoting reading among Singaporeans, especially during the circuit breaker period.

“With our compact week-long programmes and content, we hope to encourage more people to turn to reading for self-enrichment and to stay positive in these challenging times.”

Recognising the different circumstances of this year’s fair, the committee decided to rename it the Singapore Book Fair Online Reading Week.

Topics tackled by guests will range from investment to health to fiction, in both English and Chinese – including live story-telling sessions – and music production.

One panel discussion will be on Fifty Secrets Of Singapore’s Success, a collection of essays curated by Ambassador-at-Large Tommy Koh.

Panellists, including Professor Koh, Singapore’s first female Nominated MP Kanwaljit Soin, Straits Times associate editor Vikram Khanna and Straits Times opinion editor Chua Mui Hoong, will exchange views on the topics covered in the anthology.

These include national service, universities, and Singapore’s foreign relations.

• The event can be accessed at https://singaporebookfair.sg

Clement Yong
https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/spore-book-fair-goes-online-amid-outbreak

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