Friday, December 9

Storybooks at kids’ doorstep

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Rick Riordan, Enid Blyton and J.K. Rowling — Class V student Annanmay Daga has several favourite authors. And he knows how to involve his friends in the game of reading books.

The La Martiniere for Boys student and his booklover friends make a point of sharing books and discuss the latest fictions they read. To push other children like him to up their reading habit, Annanmay and his sister have contributed some of their favourite classics, fairytales and non-fiction to a new online library that got started recently.

Thanks to the contributions of several children, an online library for children — Forever Booked — was born in the run-up to World Book Day on April 23.

A venture of three mothers-turned entrepreneurs, the library aims to deliver books at the doorstep of young booklovers in the city.

“Most of us have books that our children have outgrown. Some have storage problem at home. Instead of the books gathering dust or getting dog-eared, we want others to read and enjoy them. We took two months to pass the word around and collect books from our friends which included both fiction and non-fiction. Finally, Forever Booked opened doors with 3,000 books, and it’s counting,” said Bali Sanghvi, who, along with Richa Daga and Neha Bhatnagar, initiated the project. The library caters to children right from Kindergarten to young adults and offers unlimited exchange facility for avid readers.

“Our collection ranges from classics to popular writers and even comics such as Amar Chitra Katha. Since they are contributed by students, new readers can connect with them. Young readers are also invited to share their experiences and recommendations to help new members,” said Bhatnagar.

The members can either log in with their registration numbers and add the selected books to cart, after going through an online catalogue, or they can directly WhatsApp for the requested books with their catelogue numbers.

The news comes as a boon to many students, who are tired of staying at home since past year. Class V student Tashvi G hopes to complete the Percy Jackson series with her early bird membership. “I have read a few from my brother’s collection. The rest I can borrow from this library,” said The Heritage student, who hopes to contribute some books too.

“How many books can I buy for her? We have a transferable job and storage is a problem. There are not many libraries in the city that are dedicated to children. I found the collection here quite extensive with authors ranging from various countries,” said Tashvi’s mother Neetika Vijay Kumar.

The library also aims to promote physical reading at a time when children are engrossed in the virtual spaces and screen-times. “I miss my friends, school and all the singing and dancing. But books are fun. They make me happy,” said Class I student Parshv Lakhani, a fan of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. His mother hopes the new membership will keep him better occupied. The library plans to hold live storytelling sessions online and organise a virtual book club shortly.

Source: Telegraph

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