Singapore Book Fair to be held at Capitol and Chijmes

This year's Singapore Book Fair will take place at Capitol Singapore and Chijmes.
This year's Singapore Book Fair will take place at Capitol Singapore and Chijmes.PHOTOS: CAPITOL SINGAPORE, LEE JIA WEN
Ms Loh Woon Yen is chairman of the fair's organising committee.
Ms Loh Woon Yen is chairman of the fair's organising committee.PHOTOS: CAPITOL SINGAPORE, LEE JIA WEN

This year's literary event will be held in the heart of the Civic District and built out of recyclable cardboard

The 33rd edition of the Singapore Book Fair is moving to the heart of the Civic District, setting up shop this year at Capitol Singapore and Chijmes.

The annual fair, which is organised by Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) Chinese Media Group (CMG), will run from May 25 to 31 with the theme "Reading City".

It is the first time the fair will take place in these historic buildings. Previously, it was held at Suntec Singapore Convention and Exhibition Centre.

CMG managing editor Loh Woon Yen says: "We want to bring the fair closer to Singaporeans in these venues, which are not only strategic, but also culturally and historically rich. Urbanites can stumble upon them and pick up a book or join an event."

This year's fair will be built out of cardboard. Local company Paper Carpenter will create not just booths, but also furniture such as chairs, out of hardy, compressed cardboard. The materials can be recycled after the event and are biodegradable.

The fair will feature more than 30 publishers, with a selection of English and Chinese books in Capitol Theatre, while talks, book sharing sessions and performances will be held at the main stage in the plaza outside.

On the lower levels of the mall will be a Kids Zone for children's books, as well as lifestyle workshops, such as leatherwork and tea appreciation.


  • WHERE: Capitol Singapore, 13 Stamford Road; and Chijmes, 30 Victoria Street

  • WHEN: May 25 to 31, 11am to 10pm daily (closes at 8pm on May 31)


Visitors can find the works of local creative designers at Chijmes, which will screen movies related to literary works and host performances by local singers in the evenings.

In line with the fair's new locales, local writers Yap Seow Choong, Lee Kok Leong and Lim Jen Erh will for the first time take visitors on literary and heritage trails around the Civic District.

Home-grown muralist Yip Yew Chong will lead a trail to look at his murals.

CMG visual executive artist Wilson Lee has created a comic strip, Journey Without Maps, for the book fair, about a young man's adventures as he flips through a long-forgotten story book.

SPH's custom content solutions arm, Focus Publishing, will launch 11 new books by CMG's newsrooms and radio stations, on topics ranging from wealth management to China politics.

There will also be sharing sessions with authors such as Chinese novelist Ge Fei and translator Lin Shaohua.

Straits Times Press will organise sharing and signing sessions for several new titles, including From Kid To King, The Straits Times news editor Marc Lim's picture book on Olympic swimmer Joseph Schooling; ST invest editor Lorna Tan's finance guide, Retire Smart; and Stephanie Suga Chen's light novel, Travails Of A Trailing Spouse.

The fair has, in the past two years, attracted between 170,000 and 180,000 visitors annually. Ms Loh hopes this year's visitorship will match this.

Sponsor Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple will support the event with $60,000 worth of book vouchers for more than 1,000 children from low-income families.

Each child will receive book vouchers worth $50 to buy books and educational materials.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 24, 2018, with the headline 'S'pore Book Fair goes green'. Print Edition | Subscribe