Sunday September 23, 2012
Calling all book lovers
TOT TO TEENS BY DAPHNE LEE
AND suddenly, Christmas is just three months away. I remember how I used to think my parents were joking when they complained about time passing too quickly. Now it’s my children’s turn to give me looks that quite plainly say, “Mama’s out of her tiny mind” when I sigh about how time keeps sprinting off and leaving me with unmet deadlines and unpaid bills: “You mean your fees are due again?!”
Anyway, Christmas. This means book lists, in particular my Best of 2012. I’m hoping for another round of discounts and to do another giveaway. There are still some weeks to go though so do write in if you have any recommendations: We’re looking at books released between Oct 1 last year and Nov 30 this year.
I hope that in future years, the list will include local titles. Some very good children’s lit competitions have been launched in the last two to three years so I feel (I hope) it’s only a matter of time before I encounter some exciting writing and stories. Speaking of competitions, don’t forget to submit your entries for the Calistro Prize, which has a RM10,000 purse. The closing date is Sept 31, a date which seems to encourage the submission of fantasy fiction. For more information, go to the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators Malaysia’s website at scbwi-my.org/announcement.html.
If you’d rather read instead of write, I’ve noticed some really encouraging local reading initiatives in the Klang Valley.
The Subang Jaya Book Exchange Programme is what it says it is. The exchange is held once a fortnight, on the first and third Sundays of every month at the USJ2 community hall, Selangor. To participate, just bring a book to add to the pile and you can choose one to take home with you.
The Book Lovers Network is a Facebook group that seems to focus on children’s books. From what I can see, its members share information about book sales, book shops and their loot from these. They also sell pre-loved books on the page.
Then there’s the Children’s Library in Puchong, Selangor. This space, located next to IOI Mall, has been set up to house a growing collection of children’s books (in English). It’s open to everyone on Saturdays, from 10am to 2pm. (Story-telling happens at 11.30am.) To find out more, visit the library’s Facebook page at facebook.com/Childrenlibrary. By the way, the library is holding a book exchange drive today, from 12.30pm to 2.30pm. Just walk in with a maximum of 10 books per person and exchange them for the same number of books (donated by others).
I’m hoping to meet the book lovers who run these initiatives, especially the Subang Jaya Book Exchange Programme and the Children’s Library. Watch this space for more about the two groups.
And if you live outside the Klang Valley and run similar groups and centres, do e-mail and tell me all about your project and the people involved in it.