More than just tomes at this year's Book Fair

Customers at the Book Fair can not only enjoy discounts on English and Chinese books, but also get to participate in workshops on topics like soap making, sewing book covers, and Peranakan tile colouring. The Book Fair is in its 31st year and runs un
Customers at the Book Fair can not only enjoy discounts on English and Chinese books, but also get to participate in workshops on topics like soap making, sewing book covers, and Peranakan tile colouring. The Book Fair is in its 31st year and runs until Thursday.PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

Visitors can look forward to lifestyle workshops, comic art and handicraft zones, and author talks

Those heading down to the Singapore Book Fair this year will have more than just books to choose from, with new zones set up to include comic art, handicrafts and lifestyle workshops.

Some classes include soap making, sewing of book covers and bags, as well as Peranakan tile colouring.

The fair at the Suntec Convention and Exhibition Centre, which started on Friday and is on till Thursday - also features talks by authors, and English and Chinese books at discounted prices.

At the fair's launch yesterday, Mr Ong Ye Kung, Acting Minister for Education (Higher Education and Skills), highlighted the importance of picking up books in a digital age.

"Our lives are getting busier, with mobile phones, social media and other novel things starting to take up our spare time," said Mr Ong in Mandarin.

"Reading different types of books can enrich our knowledge and deepen our understanding on topics... We cannot reverse the tide of technological advancement, but we can continue encouraging and cultivating the good habit of reading among our children."

The annual book fair, in its 31st year, is organised by Singapore Press Holdings' Chinese Media Group. Yesterday, the group launched five new Chinese titles which can be bought at the fair.

In one of them, Eating Between The Lines, Lianhe Zaobao writers trace the journey of Singapore's unique food culture, and include interviews with executive chefs, and their recipes. Eleven Chinese language teachers were also honoured at the fair as part of the 19th Inspiring Chinese Language Teachers Awards. The winners, who each received a trophy and cash prize of $1,500, were chosen from 1,000 nominees.

At the fair yesterday, comic book favourites such as Spiderman darted around the hall while visitors flipped through books at the nearby Taiwanese-themed pavilion.

Sales executive Tay Ming Lay, 40, who was there with her two sons aged 12 and eight, bought five books.

"The hands-on activities make it more interesting this year," she said.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on June 05, 2016, with the headline 'More than just tomes at this year's Book Fair'. Print Edition | Subscribe