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Gadgets & Home Improvement

Read on the go with NLB's free mobile app

Launched as part of the Read! Singapore drive, it contains 32 short stories
The Straits Times - June 24, 2011
By: Danson Cheong
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Read on the go with NLB's free mobile app Writer Felix Cheong discussing his poem Father and Son II with students and teachers from Gan Eng Seng Secondary as part of the launch of the Read! Singapore campaign. -- ST PHOTO: SAM CHIN

TECH-SAVVY bookworms will now be able to read on the go with their mobile devices.

The National Library Board (NLB) yesterday launched its MobileRead application for iPhones during the rollout of the annual Read! Singapore campaign.

The free application, available via iTunes, gives users access to 32 short stories in English, Chinese, Malay and Tamil, specially compiled for the campaign.Other smartphone users can also read the stories on the NLB's mobile Internet portal, Library In Your Pocket.

The launch of the mobile application is in line with the focus of this year's campaign, which encourages reading among youth and commuters who are always on the go.

Minister for Information, Communications and the Arts Yaacob Ibrahim and Mrs Elaine Ng, chief executive of the NLB, attended the launch at the Woodlands Regional Library yesterday.

Said Dr Yaacob: '(Reading) deepens our knowledge and enriches our lives by opening us up to new worlds and new experiences.'

He added that the Read! campaign - being held this year from yesterday to Sept 28 - is one initiative that has been effective in getting Singaporeans to pick up their books.

Since the first edition started in 2005, the campaign has reached out to more than 155,000 Singaporeans.

About 90 reading clubs have been formed along the way.

This year, events like book discussions, creative-writing workshops and meet-the-author sessions have been lined up, said Mrs Ng.

Additionally, an anthology of nine literary works translated into the four national languages has been released.

The book - which is not for sale - will be available for loan at all NLB libraries, except the Library@Esplanade, by July 4.

Mrs Ng said: 'We hope that these activities will inspire even more people to take up reading as well as stimulate cross-cultural dialogue and interactions within the community.'

One bookworm who wasted no time in downloading MobileRead was Secondary3 student Karyn Low.

The 15-year-old, who enjoys novels by Charlotte Bronte and Roald Dahl, said: 'It's so much more convenient than lugging around a heavy book on the bus. Now, I can read anywhere.'

dansonc@sph.com.sg

 

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