We haven’t done the ‘blog’ or ‘event write-up’ thing for a long while – it’s really a shame! Here I am with fresh thoughts from attending the Brunei Darussalam Library Association‘s Conference on Libraries Transform last month.
B:Read was invited to speak for the Let’s Talk session on “Community”. The topic was, specifically: “How do we increase traffic between Libraries and Bookshops and Reading Clubs“.
(Side note: Yes, many people still refer to us a book club, which we are not. We are a non-profit group who initiate or organise different reading-related activities, which could include book clubs. The closest thing we have to a book club are the (B)Read-A-Longs. But I think it’s ok for us to represent the reading community, in this particular context.)
I spoke a lot but had only four slides! Here are my slides that were related to the topic…
What do reading communities want? – The Obvious
What do reading communities want? – Less Obvious
I hoped I wasn’t being presumptuous about the ‘obvious’ in the first slide; like it’s just a given when we’re talking about books in Brunei:
- The selections are limited
- The prices aren’t great
- Bookstores and libraries need to step up on how welcoming and accessible they are
(On that last point, many readers dream of beautiful and comfortable libraries, but I’d also love to see whether the opening hours of our public libraries can be extended!)
To expand a bit on the second slide, as I do believe it is less obvious…
B:Read’s third Book Meet held at Au Lait Cafe on 7 April 2012 filled the tiny private room with laughter as the discussion for the night focused on participants’ favourite writer.
Balloons from a previous party were strewn across the floor and the four walls, encouraging vague games of dodge ball as participants slammed balloons across the room to both new and old friends throughout the night.
Some of those who attended did not have any favourite writers, but any form of discussion from them were welcomed by B:Read as the meet aims to give a space for readers to talk about books, and more importantly, bond with other readers.
Highlights throughout the night included joint presentations on Douglas Adams and John Green to individual love towards David Foster Wallace to Agatha Christie to JM Barrie to a borderline psychotic and nearing cry-for-help gushing love towards Simon Rich. Other discussions included the genres of Who-Done-It, Young Adult, and a fantastic elaborate and educational presentation on the fantasy genre by Imran, who at the end of the night, won a copy of Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare because of his intense knowledge of the genre that may or may not get him laid.
We would like to thank those who came and supported B:Read either for the first time or the umpteenth time. Remember, guys, it is essential to know the floor plan to your favourite writer’s home.
Last month we held a book meet, where we met other book lovers and discussed our favourite books.
We’ll also be holding a book meet next week on Saturday, 7th April 2012 from 7:30 PM onwards at Au Lait in Kiulap. For more details, check out the Facebook event page!
Some personal reflections by Hazirah regarding the only event for Brunei Bookswap that was held pre-2011.
The year 2009 was ending. The group was 1 or 2 months old. It had been exciting to see responses to the group, with members initiating discussion topics and making book recommendations.
It felt natural that the next step was to meet up. I felt anxious about not losing the momentum, but hesitated to hold an event, for various reasons. I worried about what we would talk about, and what date or venue suited people most. I worried that people would not enjoy themselves, and I didn’t know what I wanted them to walk away with.
But at some point, I realized I couldn’t worry anymore. Continue reading
The 1st Book Swap was held in November 2011 at Pantai Muara.
Strictly speaking, this was not a B:READ event. It was conceived by Erika Lim, and was a joint effort between Erika and and the B:READ committee.