A novel initiative in Serangoon

SINGAPORE - Fancy swopping an old book for a new read?

A book shelf has popped up outside a two-storey house in Wolskel Road, Serangoon.

The words, "Take a book, leave a book", are painted on the shelf and there are more than 15 books inside, including popular novels such as The Lord Of The Rings trilogy and works by famous author Nicholas Sparks.

The shelf was put up by Bryan Lim, who lives in the house.

Such public sharing of books is part of a worldwide "Take a book, leave a book" movement.

It started in the United States and has spread to Europe, South America and even parts of Africa.

All Mr Lim would tell The New Paper was that he was planning an official launch of the book box on Aug 23.

His neighbours are intrigued.

A 51-year-old housewife living three doors away, who wanted to be known only as Madam Tay, said: "I have seen the shelf a few times while walking out to get something, but I haven't got to checking the books up close.

"My daughter loves reading, so I told her about it, and she wants to take a look soon - maybe even contribute some of her own books."

Another neighbour, who gave his name only as Mr Tan, said: "After seeing the shelf, my children have been pestering me to put one up as well.

"I think it's a good idea. Hopefully, more people will start their own and it can become a way of sharing with each other."

Singapore writer and editor Alvin Pang said Mr Lim's initiative was a good one.

He said that any effort to encourage reading in Singapore can only be a good thing.

Mr Pang said: "I'd love to see where else these pop-up libraries show up, and, more importantly, what sort of books get shared and swopped.

"It might also be nice to see these near leisure spots like cafes and beaches."

The National Library Board Read! Singapore-featured author said it would be even better if Mr Lim could add a little local flavour to the books on his shelf.

"I hope he shares more Singaporean books."

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