Sampling SingLit

Published on 20 February 2017

Photo: Buy SingLit Facebook

To buy or not to buy – that is the question the Buy SingLit movement hopes you will start asking.


Parting is such sweet sorrow. Such apt words from William Shakespeare, when you consider Singaporeans have not been too forthcoming in parting with their money for literature.

In fact, according to the 2015 National Literary Reading and Writing Survey, only four in 10 Singaporeans read a literary title in the past 12 months, and only one out of that four had read a work of Singapore literature – or SingLit, as it’s more affectionately called.

The main reason cited was a lack of awareness. So what better way to tackle this than to package SingLit creatively into bite-sized nibbles and serve them to SingLit virgins for the sampling? After all, no one willingly parts with money unless they’re convinced a product is worth spending on.

To this cause, over 30 industry players – publishers, distributors, retailers and non-profits – have banded together to launch the first-ever #BuySingLit campaign.

Themed “Buy Local, Read Our World”, this industry-led initiative features over 40 events (across all four official languages) from 24 to 26 February. To start you off, here are our picks!

Afternoon Tea with Catherine Lim
25 Feb, 3pm
Singapore Cricket Clu

Meet Singapore’s literary pioneer for an informal conversation on writing.

Photo: Books Actually

SingLit Stitch
24-25 Feb

An exhibition of embroidery artworks by Jamie Teo, featuring quotes from SingLit.  

Photo: Helang Books

Poke-a-Braille Go! The Singapura Way
26 Feb, 3pm
National Library Building

Organised by Helang Books, this interactive game lets you learn how to decode messages in Braille.

Photo: Epigram Books

SingLit Heartland Book Drop
17-26 Feb
Epigram Books

Fifty SingLit books are hidden in plain sight across the island – go on a treasure hunt to find them!

Photo: Poetry Festival (Singapore)

Love @ the Gallery
25 Feb, 6pm
National Gallery Singapore

Enjoy Singapore love poems through readings, performances and discussions; accompanied by music and dance.

Photo: MoonShadow Stories

A Storyteller Reads
26 Feb, Various times
The Storyteller’s Studio

Master storyteller Kamini Ramachandran does live reading of selected translated works by Singapore writers.

There’s also a decent range of activities for Chinese, Malay and Tamil readers. And if you commute on public transport, why not grab a Ticket Book? Available in English, Chinese, Malay and Tamil for S$15, you get a sampling of new stories, poems and illustrations along with a NETS FlashPay card!

As with anything, developing a taste for SingLit comes with hits and misses. It takes time. But if you end up finding something you really like, it may well be worth the wait.

To find out more, click here

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