Happy World Book Day!
This is actually British World Book day, not the UNESCO World Book Day. (Explanation of why we have two versions of the same day to celebrate in Malaysia here.) All over the UK special events are planned ...
I found myself turning up to the NTV7 studios at an ungodly hour to chat about reading and encouraging writing in Malaysia on The Breakfast Show. Fortunately, I was a bit more relaxed than the first time I was on TV (when I'm told I didn't once look at the camera!).
On with me in a first segment was a lady (Pn Norliza?) from the National Library who told us about some of the schemes the library is involved with - especially increasing the number of rural libraries and putting on events for kids. There is still no plan for an effective nationwide reading campaign - involving everyone, and not only the library members - which is really want this country needs, but it's good to hear that library membership is up. (Across the country there are 6.4 million library members which I reckon is pretty good.)
In the second segment I was with poet/creative writing teacher Alina Rastam which was just great because we share a lot of enthusiasms and hopes. We talked about ways of encouraging writing.
I felt ... yes frustrated. There is so much that needs to be said, and which I think viewers would be interested to hear ... but how much can you get across in just a few minutes? But I did manage to slip in something about We Need A Writer's Centre.