NLB’s annual Read! Fest returns with literary trails, a charity book drive and more

Bookworms, listen up. Following a year-long hiatus due to the pandemic last year, the National Library Board (NLB) is finally ready to bring back its annual literary fiesta Read! Fest to engage readers from across the country. Themed Reboot, the festival will take place now till Jul 18.

At Read!, participants can look forward to more than 60 programmes including literary trails, reading sessions and panel discussions with international and local speakers. Here are some of the best ones.

12 Titles, 12 Insights

At this programme, attendees will get to discover 12 Read! Fest featured books—ranging from English to Tamil—which offer new perspectives on living and adapting in the 21st century, especially during uncertain periods.

Those that caught our eye include Elif Shafak’s How To Stay Sane in an Age of Division, Okky Madasari’s Kerumunan Terakhir, and Gerard Sasges and Ng Shi Wen’s Hard at Work: Life In Singapore.

Literary Trail: The Curious Adventure of The Salaryman

Quite literally, Read! Fest will also take participants outside of the library premises to embark on an adventure of reinvention and self-discovery. This literary trail spans West Coast Park, East Coast Park as well as the ground floor Plaza of the National Library Building.

Happening from mid-July to September, bookworms are turned into an explorer as they navigate through the various locations to complete a story about Gerry, a mundane commoner, in The Curious Adventure of The Salaryman.

Read for Books

To raise awareness and share the gift of reading with the less privileged, NLB is also hosting a charity book drive, Read for Books. Happening from Jul 10-26, the rules of the book drive are simple: for every 10 people who read for 15mins, one book will be donated to selected beneficiaries in Singapore. 

NLB’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr Ng Cher Pong shared: “Since the launch of Read! Fest in 2014, we have been heartened by the incredible response from the public, with about 780,000 participants.

“The sixth edition of Read! Fest in 2019 alone attracted close to 300,000 participants.”

“This year, we are excited to engage with our patrons through a mix of interactive literary trails and programmes. We hope to reach out to more patrons in the comfort of their homes and encourage them to come and read with us to find new inspiration in this pandemic.”

More information available here.