Kolkata’s love for books is not unknown. Its historic College Street is India’s largest book market, lending it the endearing nickname Boi Para or the Book Town. The kilometre-long road houses hundreds of bookstalls. To further the cause and inculcate book-reading habits in people, a Kolkata couple has now undertaken a unique initiative. Kalidas Haldar and Kumkum Haldar teamed up with a kirana store owner to open a free street library in Patuli. To get started they took an old fridge and turned it into a bookshelf which can now be seen outside Tarapodh Kahar’s Kirana store, according to Storypick.
When the duo approached Kahar regarding the library, he agreed readily to let them use his space.
A message that’s attached to the fridge quirkily reads “A book a month keeps the doctor away”. It also informs that readers can take a book for free and return it after a month. Anyone can contribute to the library. It also says that the idea of this library is to help people develop a reading habit and create a book-loving community.
The couple is now being lauded on social media for their effort with some hoping that more people will spring into action to undertake such initiatives.
Few kirana store owners in #Kolkata have now opened a street library in South Kolkata where one can borrow a book for a month for free!!!An old fridge & a bookshelf in the store are all they have now.Love and respect for their initiative 🙏🏻 pic.twitter.com/CJGjMI3pct
— AncientHistory (@VisionHistory) March 30, 2021
The importance of reading is undeniable. It not only helps to expand our mind and creativity, it also significantly improves our concentration. In the world of smartphones and unlimited data connections, reading has been losing its lustre. And initiatives like these are important to remind people and provide them access to free books and help them reconnect with reading. This activity can be a great way to sit back, de-stress and come out of the constant ‘multi-tasking’ mindset; focussing only at the task at hand. Not to mention, it helps one understand different perspectives.