Bibliophiles of Singapore, unite.
A new book club by The Straits Times will be launched at the end of the month to give book lovers a platform to meet and discuss their favourite titles.
The Straits Times Book Club will debut at the National Library Board headquarters on March 28. Thereafter, club meetings will be held every last Wednesday of the month, from 7 to 8.30 pm, at the library headquarters in Victoria Street.
This rebranded book club seeks to build a community around the written word. It takes over from the Big Read Meet, a non-fiction book club which The Straits Times had run together with the National Library Board (NLB) since 2013.
It is by far the NLB's biggest book club, in terms of number of attendees. Meetings used to be moderated by former Straits Times senior writer Cheong Suk-Wai and drew up to 300 people each session.
The club took a brief break from late last year, but will resume with a new slate of journalists from The Straits Times moderating sessions on new titles. The club will focus on books by Singaporeans.
Mr Warren Fernandez, editor-in-chief of Singapore Press Holdings' (SPH) English, Malay and Tamil Media Group and editor of The Straits Times, says: "We want to build a community around the love of books. We hope this will become a platform for book lovers to discuss words and ideas. We hope it will add much value to their lives."
Mrs Elaine Ng, chief executive of NLB, says: "We are delighted to partner again The Straits Times for this book club. Our previous book club with The Straits Times was the biggest among the many we have.
"Our book clubs not only reach out to communities, but also encourage the love of reading and are a key part of the National Reading Movement.
"Renewing this partnership will allow us to build on our drive to get more people to read more, read widely and read together."
The first instalment on March 28 will see The Straits Times executive editor Sumiko Tan in conversation with senior writer Wong Kim Hoh.
They will talk about his new book, Big Hearts, Big Dreams, a compilation of inspiring stories about the 2015 and 2016 Singaporean of the Year nominees.
Among other things, they will discuss the craft of profile-writing and the art of drawing out the most intimate revelations from a subject.
The Straits Times' veteran journalist and head of training and development Lydia Lim will engage with Dr Kevin Tan and Dr Lam Peng Er on their newly re-issued book, Lee's Lieutenants: Singapore's Old Guard, on April 25.
VIEW IT / THE STRAITS TIMES BOOK CLUB
WHERE: Programme Zone, Central Public Library, Basement 1 National Library Board, 100 Victoria Street
WHEN: March 28, 7 to 8.30pm
INFO: Sign up at NLB e-Kiosks or go to str.sg/oSZe
And on May 30, Life writer Olivia Ho will unwrap Stephanie Suga Chen's novel Travails Of A Trailing Spouse, a light-hearted look at the lives of expatriate wives in Singapore.
The official book to be discussed each month will be sold in advance at a special discount by the Straits Times Press, the publishing arm of SPH.