Saturday, December 08, 2007

Singapore Writers Festival: World Wide Web of Words - Literary Blogs (8th Dec 2007)

Tomorrow's the panel discussion on the "World Wide Web of Words".

The blurb for the panel discussion says:
Saturday, 8th Dec, 3pm. Venue is the Arts House.
A treat for book lovers out there, World Wide Web of Words – Literary Blogs, brings together online communities of readers and writers. Thoughtful and insightful, our panelists will talk about their favourite page-turners and web pages! Log on and join in the fun!

I've no doubt that Deepika and Sharon will be thoughtful and insightful. It was obvious to me, from reading their blogs.


It's for the audience to judge.

To be honest, I find it hard to explain why I like certain books or authors without rambling.

If I had to be brief, I'd tend to say, "They moved me."

So much for being insightful.

And I can't say I know the "literary works". I've only read one Man Booker Prize book to date. I'm quite weak in my readings for Singapore Literature and Asian Literature.

At one point, I wondered if I've made a mistake by agreeing to be in the panel. I don't want to disappoint the audience, especially.

But an email from an author gave me a confidence booster.
Ivan, I am a children’s poet/author ... ... I have to say, your book review blog in THE best list I have ever seen for boys. I know you didn’t intend it to be exclusively for boys, but wow. Really. Wow. Keep up the good work. sara holbrook

Wow. Thank you, Sara!

I don't know Sara personally. Haven't read her works either (but that'll soon change!)

She must know her stuff though (about my book blog being "much more of a boy focus", as she explained in a subsequent email):

Her husband ( is also a teaching artist/poet. She keeps herself updated on Young Adult (YA) literature by reading book reviews. Like those from this blog, belonging to her friend (whom I found out was a professor of children's and YA literature).

Hmm... come to think of it, I tend to read books that would interest guys more.

I started RoughNotes in July 2004 (it was it was RawNotes on blogger, before I migrated to At the start, I took pains to explain that it wasn't a blog about book reviews.

Three years later, it remains as my "digital dump" for the stuff that I've read.

Except that thanks to Sara, I'm seeing my blog in a different light. :)


  1. Yes Ivan, you've got blogs catering to every one of your interest. Quite a bit of work there, but it pays off. You'll definitely do fine!

    About book blogs, perhaps something I'd like to see your panel talk about is the coming of eBooks and how it will function in society alongside pbooks (printed books).

    I've argued that we won't see pBooks replaced, since the pBook as a technology is rather unique (turning pages, portability, stability, etc).

  2. Anonymous9:49 pm

    I've always wanted to do a book review blog but it takes some time time to read and then takes even longer to blog about them. :( So, well done there on your great book blog.

    I've just bookmarked it, will look forward to more of your reviews.

    We picked up very different type of books, i realised but you have some really interesting picks!

    To Kevin's points, I agree that the experience of turning pages is quite irreplaceable but at the same time, i am not surprised that in near future, the reading culture/ habit will start turning to electronic. I hardly flipped newspapers nowadays, i read most of the news online. But i love flipping my glossy magazines still. I cant imagine reading Harry Potter on electronic devices too. It's just different.


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