Support local literature, it's a part of us

I was disheartened to read that the future looks bleak for Singapore's first online store for local print books ("One-stop website for local reads"; Feb 7).

I am an ardent supporter of local literature.

Whenever I read a locally-written book, I dwell in the comfort of familiarity with the places, people, language and culture depicted in the stories.

It is easy to find common ground with the stories' characters, as our lives are steeped together in our home country, Singapore.

We identify with the faces in the books. They are people with whom we interact in our daily life - our family, neighbours, colleagues, friends and lovers.

I agree that kinship with books needs to be nurtured from a young age. Parents can set the precedent by reading and choosing locally written books for themselves and their children.

Families can bond by reading these books and seeing reflections of themselves in the story.

Schools may also support local authors by including more of their works as part of their English or Literature curriculum.

Local literature is enjoyable simply because it is so much a part of us. It is a tapestry of our history and our culture, but most significantly, the tales often bear the voices, dreams and aspirations of us Singaporeans.

They can also engage the writers for talks or workshops related to their literary works.

Our local writers produce excellent work, and young talented writers abound in our country.

Supporting the local literature scene today will surely help grow and strengthen the platform from which they may showcase their future works.

Local literature is enjoyable simply because it is so much a part of us. It is a tapestry of our history and our culture, but most significantly, the tales often bear the voices, dreams and aspirations of us Singaporeans.

Hence, I urge everyone to start supporting our local writers today.

Lim Peng Peng (Ms)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 10, 2017, with the headline 'Support local literature, it's a part of us'. Print Edition | Subscribe