A Library that Asks You to Steal Its Books #WATWB
Children in the Nagari tea-estate of Darjeeling are being encouraged to engage themselves and their times with ‘The Book Thief’. It’s intriguing and might raise a few eyebrows too. But Srijana Subba is on a mission to ensure that every child in her village has a book.
Srijana was introduced to the world of books by her parents when she was a kid. Her father would often tell her bedtime tales, while her mother bought her many second-hand books. It was her childhood dream to open a library to imbibe reading habits, especially among the youngsters.
“Right after I sold my car, the empty garage was beckoning to me, and that was where I decided to set up the library. It is informal and devoid of any support from the government or other organisation,” she says.
She has built the library from her collection as well as donations from friends and well-wishers.
It houses more than 500 books that cater to all genres. Children of all ages come to the library. She also host reading events there every once in a while.
With immense pride, Srijana speaks about how the library is also helping bring about a change in the attitude of the children.
“A few days ago, I was going through the register and was amazed at how methodically the children have been maintaining it. The name of the book, the date on which it was borrowed, and the name of the borrower have all been entered. They are learning so much from being here,” she says.
The youngest member at the library was a three-year-old! But this winter, she had a 1.5-year-old come in with his sister. All he did was sit with her and look at the pictures in a book.
It’s never too early to start reading, she believes.
Srijana is thrilled at the response to the library, and it keeps her motivated. “I do not expect anything in return but just wish to continue doing the work for the betterment of the society,” she concludes.
Here’s hoping that every village in India has a library like ‘The Book Thief’ and a bibliophile like Srijana backing it.
This post is part of the We Are the World Blogfest, a monthly blogging event created by Damyanti Biswas and Belinda Witzenhausen to showcase stories of hope and light. This month I’m helping out as a co-host, along with extraordinary bloggers : Inderpreet Uppal, Sylvia Stein, Simon Falk and Damyanti Biswas—please hop over to check out their WATWB posts as well as from other WATWB participants for a dose of feel-good to last you a whole month. You’ll be happy you did!
Click HERE to check out the intention and rules of the blogfest and feel free to sign up at any time. You are always welcome!
January 25, 2019 8:22 am|
I adore this story!
January 25, 2019 11:30 am|
Reminds me of my childhood years in Dubai. We had a similar lending library where an Indian woman and her daughter would park their car in a particular location every evening and the back would be filled with books. The small child was as mu h a part of maintaining the records as the mom.
January 25, 2019 11:46 am|
How wonderful. It just goes to show that all one needs is good intentions to make a difference – not a lot of money, not a lot of space.
January 25, 2019 12:49 pm|
This is so amazing! Kudos to Srijana and the kids who are maintaining this library so well!
January 25, 2019 12:59 pm|
This is such a lovely and wonderful initiative. A gift of learning is something that will go a long way for these children. Kudos to srijana
January 25, 2019 2:00 pm|
How absolutely enchanting! The best way to encourage reading is to make it available. Thanks for this post Shilpa – and for co-hosting
January 25, 2019 5:01 pm|
Such an inspiring tale. Fits for the saying where there is a will there is a way. Kudos for such an initiative.
January 25, 2019 7:13 pm|
What a lovely story and shows how what one needs is the intent. Just that will to make a change. Thank you for sharing this beautiful story, Shilpa. Brought a smile to my face.
January 25, 2019 9:05 pm|
This is really something new that I have heard of.. kudos to the people who are maintaining it !
January 25, 2019 9:52 pm|
Thanks for sharing this wonderful real life story of “The Book Thief “ library started by Srijana.Books are paths of enlightenment and joy.
January 25, 2019 11:24 pm|
An inspiring story and a wonderful initiative indeed. I’m super happy that you have penned this to share with us!
January 25, 2019 11:46 pm|
Great story, I’ve read of a few in little towns in America, what better way to help some than to read.
January 26, 2019 12:01 am|
Wonderful concept, making books available to readers is the best way to encourage reading. Loved ur post absolutely, thanks for sharing
January 26, 2019 2:22 am|
Such an inspiring and thoughtful act. Kudos to her. Making books available to kids is the first step towards instilling reading habits in them from young age.
January 26, 2019 5:32 am|
Shilpa, you and I are on the same wavelength this month with our #WATWB posts. Srijana has done a wonderful thing – sharing her love of books with children. I wish her many continued years as librarian in her garage!
January 26, 2019 6:32 am|
Immensely proud of her helping children develop reading habits. It seems it is the time that kids become book thieves, borrow the books n enhance their learning.
January 26, 2019 8:17 am|
What a lovely story. Reading is so important and so few read! Thank you for sharing
January 26, 2019 8:59 am|
I want to open a library too one day. This is so inspiring. Reading habits need to be started early Glad you shared this.
January 26, 2019 12:20 pm|
Thanks for sharing this story about the wonderful library that’s helping the children in India. I am reminded of one of my favorite authors from childhood, Ray Bradbury, whose love of reading and library visits turned him into a spectacular fantasy writer of such books as Something Wicked This Way Comes and The Martian Chronicles, to name a few treasures. May libraries like the one you write about stimulate the minds and hearts of the children as well.
January 26, 2019 12:37 pm|
Awww..that is such a wonderful idea Srijana came up with! Just imagine if every village in India did indeed have a library and children hooked onto books, what a beautiful picture that would be! And, a great future, too!
January 26, 2019 2:01 pm|
What a great initiative!
Later, may these ‘thieves’ encourage more to read. This theft won’t be for long as many books will find their way back and many more additional books will surely enrich the library.
January 26, 2019 7:44 pm|
This is such a wonderful thing. Great initiative . Books are friends for life
January 26, 2019 8:19 pm|
Excellent initiative… thanks for sharing this post.
January 27, 2019 12:29 am|
Aww. This is gorgeous! Thanks for sharing…
January 27, 2019 3:14 pm|
A heartwarming and commendable story on how reading being nurtured among the young and dedicated.
January 27, 2019 6:24 pm|
This initiative sounds so sweet, appreciate srijana for responding to her hearts call – so inspiring to covert a garage into a library and keeping it open for all, so very relevant now when kids are so busy with playing online games and glued to the cell phones, laptops, television… ..
January 27, 2019 8:45 pm|
Thank you for sharing this wonderful story Shilpa. As a book lover, I can’t think of a better way to serve a community.
January 28, 2019 11:13 am|
Very inspiring read!
January 31, 2019 12:15 pm|
This is a fabulous idea to promote literacy among children! There should be libraries like this all over.
January 31, 2019 3:54 pm|
What a beautiful initiative, Shilpa.
February 4, 2019 6:17 am|
A beautiful demonstration of what a person can do to help others. That she has done this without and devoid of any support from the government or other organisations is inspiring!