Coronavirus: 35th Singapore Book Fair to take place online

The eight-day online event will feature guests like local actor Li Nanxing (left) and Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Ministry of National Development Sun Xueling.
The eight-day online event will feature guests like local actor Li Nanxing (left) and Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Ministry of National Development Sun Xueling.PHOTOS: LIANHE ZAOBAO

SINGAPORE - The Singapore Book Fair returns in a revamped form for its 35th year - it will go online.

The eight-day event from May 18 to 25 will feature guests like local actor Li Nanxing, Taiwanese television host Sisy Chen and Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Ministry of National Development Sun Xueling.

It will comprise 30 live and pre-recorded programmes that Singaporeans can stream online in their homes.

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

It will showcase 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, the Singapore Book Fair organising committee chairman , 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 Singapore Book Fair Online Reading Week. Topics tackled by guests will range from investment and health, to fiction in both English and Chinese - including live story-telling sessions - and music production.

One panel discussion will be on 50 Secrets of Singapore's Success, a collection of essays curated by Ambassador-at-Large Tommy Koh.

Panellists, including Professor Koh, Singapore's first Nominated Member of Parliament 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, which include national service, universities, and Singapore's foreign relations.

The event can be accessed via the fair's website.

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