Most memorable reads

In the third of an eight-part series, which will run twice a week, we talk to Singaporeans about the authors and books that have moved them

Books have long held an iconic place in our memories. They mark seasons and milestones of a person's or nation's journey through time.

They challenge our imagination, thoughts and beliefs, often transporting us to different places and times.

This series is part of the Singapore Memory Project, a nationwide movement led by the National Library Board (NLB). It aims to capture and document precious moments related to Singapore.

"In line with NLB's READ! Festival this year, the Singapore Memory project hopes to reach out to members of the public to contribute their memories of reading," said Mr Wan Wee Pin, NLB's deputy director of engagement.

"It could be memories of their favourite books, their reading experiences or even their favourite bookstores, both past and present."In this instalment, three Singaporeans talk about their most memorable reading experiences.

I can create my own private world
Name:
Marcus Lim Jia Xuan
Age: 12
What I do: Secondary 1 student at St Joseph's Institution
Favourite genre: Fantasy
Favourite book: The Red Pyramid of the Kane Chronicles
Reading experiences: I started reading more intensively in Primary 4, when I realised that it could take me to a whole new world.
I could also add my own elements to create my own private world. Reading has been very beneficial in improving my language skills as well.
As I prefer reading the fantasy series by Rick Riordan, I am always anticipating the release of the next book so that I can complete my collection. My bookshelf has around 20 books, all kept in pristine condition.

Books take you to different places
Name:
Stephanie Liu
Age: 30
What I do: Director in a real estate company
Favourite genres: Christian self-help and psychology
Favourite book: 100 Days of Right Believing by Joseph Prince
Reading experiences: My family influenced my love for reading. My mum and my sister, being avid readers themselves, encouraged me to read more.
I read Enid Blyton as a kid, and the genres I enjoyed gradually grew wider as I grew older.
Reading was also a favourite way to pass the time when I had to take long plane rides.
Books take you to so many different places, and I remember the quirky characters that are so much more interesting than many people I meet in real life.
I find inspiration and strength in Christian books. Books related to psychology and parenting also rank high on my list. Both help me to understand how people think and how to communicate with them by simplifying my ideas.

Inspired to pursue my dreams, aspirations
Name:
Lee Jingwei
Age: 23
What I do: Postgraduate student at Monash University, majoring in Journalism and Politics
Favourite genres: Fantasy, adventure and non-fiction
Favourite book: Hard Truths To Keep Singapore Going by Lee Kuan Yew
Reading experiences: I used to borrow many books from the library. I remember reading the Sweet Valley Kids series and many other novels for young people.
My parents encouraged my sister and me to read. I also had a maid who was with us when I was 10 to 17 years old. She liked to read a lot too - romance novels, thrillers or news-oriented magazines. I would always read what she borrowed from the library.
Two books which impacted me are Hard Truths To Keep Singapore Going by Lee Kuan Yew, and Factory Girls by Leslie Chang. Through the former, I learnt more about our founding father and felt proud of how far our country has come. In the latter, I was inspired to pursue my dreams and aspirations.

Brought to you by: Singapore Memory Project

GIVING YOUR PAST A PRESENT

Is there a book you've read that changed your life? Or maybe one that was so captivating that you've read it multiple times.

Share with us your memories of reading and of your favourite books in the "Books That Moved Me" campaign via the Singapore Memory Portal (www.singaporememory.sg).

You can also "like" the movement's Facebook page: facebook.com/irememberSG


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