Author Archives: teah

Bookswap: Books of Tomorrow, Today

We are back with another bookswap! This time, it is in space! At least that is what we would like you to imagine with the theme “Books of Tomorrow, Today!”.

Bring your pre-loved books and swap for new ones at the bookswap! We have a collection of 300 books for you to swap! Meet people, read at the event, bring your family and friends!


B:Read will also be holding activities throughout the day, which includes quizzes and group story writing.  The details to the activities are as follow:

Continue the Story
all day
What is it?: Five words, that is all it takes for stories to unfold. Continue the Story is a writing activity open to everyone where we get everyone to write one story. The catch is you only have five words to add to the story before the next person chips in another five words. Hilarity ensues, drama unfurls, and tears are shed.

What Did I Write?!
all day
What is it?: So you think you know about what writers wrote what? If you do (or don’t), then join us for this quiz! The more answers you get right, the more points you get. Gather your points for the quiz and stand a chance to win tiny prizes from us!

Blind Date: “Recommend Me a Book”
What is it?: Not sure what to read next? Well, we can help you with that! We recommend going on our blind speed date! But our speed date has a catch: your topic of discussion will centre around your favourite book or have your “date” recommend you a book. You’ll meet several people, and you’ll talk about books–what a life! Whether you and an individual end up together is beyond us, but you just might have a new book on your list. Sign up here to join this activity!

Dramatic Readings
What is it?: How would the lyrics of modern day poet Nicki Minaj sounds like if we put some flair in the reading of her words? We bring several people to read texts of their choice and to read them dramatically in this session of complete silliness.

If you’d like to participate, or recommend something for us to read during the dramatic reading, email us at

We hope to see you there!

(B)Read-A-Long #3: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

Time to alohamora those dusty Harry Potter books or begin reading the books as the third (B)Read-a-Long delve into the first of the magical series, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone!

For our third (B)Read-a-Long (and 2014’s first!), we will be reading the wonderful introduction to the most brilliant series to ever exist in the fantasy genre, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by JK Rowling!

For the two weeks of the (B)Read-a-Long, we will open a new post for discussion on the B:READ Bookswap page. We encourage participants to chip in and discuss the book. It doesn’t have to be a literary breakdown or analysis. We are happy if you contribute with a “<3″ or a </3″!


Week 1 — 16 to 22 June 2014: CHAPTERS 1 TO 8
Week 2 — 23 to 29 June 2014: CHAPTERS 9 to 17

Participants are required to fill in a form here!

You can find a copy of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone either on your own bookshelf or at your local Best Eastern!

Check our FAQs to find out more about (B)Read-a-Long.

B:Read Free Library at Blitz Yogurt!

After its launch last year at Gloria Jean’s Coffees Citisquare, we are happy to announce another location you can find for our Free Library Initiative: Blitz Yogurt at Mabohai Shopping Complex!

You can find around 20 books on the shelf inside the shop ranging from fiction to non-fiction and genres suitable for both children and adults. So, why not nourish your body and mind with a book and some frozen yogurt?

How does the Free Library work? Feel ‘free’ to pick up a book! The fun doesn’t stop there, though!

  • You can read it while enjoying your frozen yogurt and treats in the shop, OR
  • You can also bring it home and return it at a later date, OR
  • If you enjoy the book so much, you are encouraged to keep it and swap it with your own book from your own personal shelf.

This is similar to our bookswap system! We’re just making this available on an everyday basis instead of holding bookswap events all the time!

The books will be replenished once every month, so expect new books on the shelf regularly!

What kind of books should you give back? We would like to remind you to please not ‘cheat’ and swap the books with textbooks, outdated books (e.g. Horoscopes 2010, Best British Universities 2002), or books in unreadable condition. Rule of thumb: If it’s not a book you would have ever picked up to read, it’s probably not a good fit; try a different book!

We believe that reading should be made available for everyone, and we hope that alongside our Bookswap events, our Free Library can provide you with more options that cannot either be found in local libraries or bookshops, all at a free or swap cost.

We would like to give our thanks to Blitz for giving us the opportunity to expand our initiative!

If you’re an owner of a cafe or restaurant and is interested in having our Free Library in your premise, feel free to contact us!

What Books Can You Swap?

We often get asked about the kinds of books you can swap during our bookswap events. We have, in our bookswap page, laid out the kinds of books you can swap. Here’s another entry dedicated to the subject matter!

The following are books we do not accept:

  • Textbooks
  • Phonebooks
  • Outdated business/dictionary books
  • Game cheats
  • Magazines
  • Books on zodiacs
  • Harlequin romance
  • Controversial subject matter (on religion, mostly)
  • Books that are heavily damaged i.e. broken spine, no front cover, ripped pages regardless of the writer

We’ve been asked why we don’t accept harlequin romance. We used to, and at one point we received so many that it overwhelmed out collection. Unfortunately, we discover that harlequin romance books are not books people want to swap. Hence, we give them out for free instead. We have nothing against harlequin romance as a genre, we just have a problem that it would dominate a majority of our swap pool. We want to expand the genres we have, not limit it to one that not everyone wants to read. You’re welcomed to scour our Free Books collection, though, if you want some harlequin romances for free!

As a rule of thumb, if you’re looking into swapping a book, you’d want to find something that is in good condition, right? Even if the papers are yellowing or if there are minor dents on the cover, you’d still want to swap the books, correct? Second-hand bookshops would not accept heavily damaged books. We do not either. Share books that are in good condition! Don’t turn people off from reading by swapping a book that damaged spine or ripped pages!

Questionable Reasons to Buy Books

A guest post by Nurfatehah Shamsul

I like to think that I’m a fickle reader and an even more fickle buyer, but I know that’s a lie. I say to myself (and to others) that I won’t pick up a book and purchase it just because everyone and their grandmother has read it. But in reality, I read Fifty Shades of Grey because it bothered me that I wasn’t in the loop. I have even paid for books before I read the synopses because I liked a character’s name. Here is a list of other questionable justifications for book purchases I have made so far:

1. It has a good title: The temptation to own a beautifully-named book is strong and fuels the curiosity for you to know more of what lays inside. Books I had bought purely for the name include The Memory Keeper’s Daughter by Kim Edwards, Song Yet Sung by James McBride, and Jay Asher’s Thirteen Reasons Why. Thankfully, The Memory Keeper’s Daughter and Thirteen Reasons Why turned out to be really good books. I have yet to read Song Yet Sung. I’ll get there. One day…

2. A blogger I follow said it was the best book they have ever read: When I was in Form 5, I saw my homeroom teacher wrote ‘easily influenced’ in my student file by “accident”. She smiled knowingly when I protested and insisted that wasn’t the case. After three years, I now concede defeat. Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn: The Final Empire was bought because a post on my Tumblr dashboard sang praises to the series. I don’t remember who the blogger was, nor did I read the book’s synopsis, but a click on the ‘Purchase’ button meant that it was coming to my door steps soon. Another book was Please Take Care of Mother by Shin Kyung Suk. The latter made me cringe because of the awkward translation and the approach the writer had taken at trying too hard to make the audience cry. Luckily, the Mistborn series ended up as one my favourite books and has become my quality benchmark against other books of the high fantasy genre. Just goes to show: you can’t trust everyone on the internet, but others have pretty good judgements too.

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