Nothing quite compares with the joy of reading. Reading can take you places far beyond your imagination; one day you could be a swashbuckling knight fighting off a bloodthirsty dragon, on another, you could transform into a mermaid exploring the depths of the deep blue sea.
Despite this, with the proliferation of show streaming and video games nowadays, it’s a far more common sight to see the eyes of children glued to a screen, rather than their noses buried deep in a book. Something’s got to change — and the National Library Boards’s (NLB) new monthly book subscription service might be just the answer.
The Little Book Box
With this service, each customer will get a monthly selection of eight specially curated books. Called ‘The Little Book Box’, the box will contain eight fiction and non-fiction titles. There’s even an element of surprise, where customers will have no control over the titles they’ll receive. It’s like receiving a present each month! These books cater for a large range of children’s interests and topics — and hence cannot be exchanged for other titles, no matter the reason.
What’s more, these books will be delivered right to each subscriber’s doorstep. Achieving the winning combination of convenience and accessibility, this subscription service will make it easier for parents with busy schedules to ensure a steady stream of reading titles for their children.
Even more so during the COVID-19 pandemic, where many might not wish to make multiple trips to the library. During this time, libraries have reopened to the public; however, they only offer the ‘borrow and go’ option, where each person can only be in a public library for 30 minutes at a time. All seating and study areas are also cordoned off.
Once each subscriber is done with reading the books in their box, they can return them to any of the 25 public libraries in Singapore. Excluding the delivery time, each subscriber is allowed to keep the books for a total of 21 days.
Do note that overdue fines also apply to the Little Book Box! To keep track of loan and due dates, subscribers can check their library membership account, or refer to the printed receipt that’s inserted into their book box.
These books are targeted towards two age groups: from four to six years old, and seven to nine years old. Bookworms will be delighted to know that The Little Book Box is mutually exclusive with NLB’s usual loan allowance, allowing subscribers to still borrow up to 16 additional books at a time.
The subscription service is available for everyone from all walks of life; NLB has also kindly partnered with the Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund to give up to 200 children from lower-income households a free nine-month subscription.
What does each subscription entail?
The subscription service is available at $10.70 per month (inclusive of GST) and will open for registration from 2 October 2020. As this is part of a pilot run, the subscription isn’t permanent — it’ll run for nine months from November 2020 to July 2021. Any further extension will be based on the response and success of the subscription! There’s a minimum subscription period of three months, which will automatically be renewed until you wish to terminate it.
To qualify for the Little Book Box subscription service, you must be a NLB member. You must also not have any unpaid fees or charges in your membership account. If you have an annual NLB membership, do take note that you must have at least six months to your library membership before applying for the subscription.
This pilot run will only be open to 1,000 subscribers for a start, so fastest fingers first! And indeed, what better way is there to start your child reading from a young age?