South Pacific and Asia Book Chat is a weekly book chat that takes place on Twitter on Thursday evenings (New Zealand time). To join it, all you need to do is (a) join Twitter and (b) send out tweets at the appropriate time which include the #spbkchat tag. I take part about once a fortnight, on average.
(You don’t have to live in this region to participate – it’s just that the chat was set up to be at a time that people in the region could make. Most book chats on Twitter are US-based, and the timing doesn’t work for many other parts of the world.)
Recently, #spbkchat celebrated its first anniversary. During the past 13 months, a huge range of topics has been covered – there are general book chats every month or so, chats about particular genres, and chats about the national literatures of various countries in the region.
I find these latter chats especially interesting. Despite New Zealand’s geographical position, New Zealanders – or at least (largely) monoglot New Zealanders like me – learn far more about books and writers from England and the US than we do about writers from Asia and the Pacific – or even Australia. I really value hearing about the writers to watch out for, and the shape of the writing and publishing scene, in the Philippines, and Indonesia, and – tonight’s topic – Malaysia, and it is great that readers, and sometimes writers, from so many countries get involved.
So this is to say thanks to Marg, Maree and Tanabata, the organisers of #spbkchat, and to all the enthusiastic, knowledgeable folks – readers, writers, readers and writers – who take part. Long may it continue!