'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Saturday 3 November 2012

Love 2 Read TV! with Tim Chan

KBR is delighted to welcome Tim Chan, book-lover and the genius behind Love2ReadTV - a spinoff website dedicated to a videography series in support of the National Year of Reading 2012.

Why did you become a friend of the National Year of Reading?
How could I reject the offer?! I speak, breathe and eat books, so I was thrilled when I was invited to be a Friend of the NYR. It has given me the opportunity to share the joy of reading with more people than I ever imagined.

What does reading mean to you?
Reading means everything to me. I’m a strong advocate of public libraries, and I think their important role in our community has been highlighted this NYR. With so much information available to us, and the fact that all this info can be accessed 24/7, it’s important to have a place where we can get trustworthy advice on how best to navigate our information world.

How do books change people’s lives?
I think books change people’s lives on two levels. The first is that reading is critical to improving literacy – almost half of Australia’s population don’t have the skills needed for everyday life and work.

The second is that books give people an opportunity to escape reality. I remember reading an article not too long ago about someone who was on the verge of entering severe depression. She was saved from toppling over through reading books – an inspirational story.

I suppose that’s the magical thing about books – when we read, we find connections to our own lives. Sometimes it’s comforting to know we’re not alone. Books aren’t limited to fiction either, and there’s so much we can learn from biographies, reports, new hobbies . . . I could go on and on!

Tell us about Love2ReadTV. Where did the idea come from?
Love2ReadTV is my exciting project celebrating NYR! Bookworms, authors and librarians are all invited to send in a video of support. These videos will be edited together into Love2ReadTV episodes and published on the project website.

A number of authors have generously donated their time (out of their extremely busy schedules!) to film a short video message for the project. There have also been many submissions from librarians around the country which will form part of the Librarians episode. I’ve even received a submission from the New York Public Library! It’s amazing how people can be united across borders through the joy of reading.

After I became a Friend of the NYR, I wanted to do something which would connect people together sharing the joy of reading. The idea actually came from Masterchef getting people to send in audition videos - food and books are a tasty combination eh?

How can people become involved?
Everyone is invited to be part of the 'I Believe in Reading' video episode. All they need to do is film themselves saying “My name is _________ and I believe in Reading!” They can also add a short message of support telling us why they love reading, or they can tell us their favourite book.

Any device can be used to film the video – use your iPhone, iPad, Digital Camera or dedicated video camera then send it in! Full details are on the website: www.love2readtv.com.au

The closing date is the 12th November – get your entries in quick!

What did you hope to achieve with this initiative?
I wanted to create something which would celebrate the National Year of Reading for years to come. I wanted to not only promote reading, but also connect readers with authors and librarians. This idea has become reality, with four episodes featuring authors already, with more to come. It has just been the most rewarding time seeing videos from so many people all passionate about reading and sharing the joy with the nation - even the world.

What else does Love2ReadTV offer?
I also run a blog which has lots of resources for librarians. You can download posters for each of the NYR themes there as they become available. The year may be coming to an end, but NYR is still going strong! You can access the blog at theopinionchair.wordpress.com

I also post on it quite regularly so if you’re in love with books as madly as I am, do subscribe! I’ll happily send you all the latest news I manage to scavenge.

What are your future plans for Love2ReadTV?
I’m hoping Love2ReadTV will serve as a useful resource for readers and librarians well into the future. There are so many insightful messages from all the videos being submitted by writers and librarians. They are all worth watching. At the heart of the project is a strong promotion of books and reading – so it could be a great classroom resource too. It has been the most enjoyable project to coordinate, and I hope you all enjoy the videos!

As to whether I’ll continue post-NYR12, I’ll have to see what comes along - time will tell! I’ll definitely continue to be a strong advocate for books and libraries, so stay tuned.

We will, Tim! Congratulations on this glorious initiative. Make sure you check out Tim's fabulous sites and be sure to send your video entry in before 12 November!