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Lavanya Bahuguna


JWB Meets The Founders Of A Mobile-Library That Has A Two-day Stay In Jaipur (Feb 6 & 7)

  • JWB Post
  •  February 6, 2016


Sometimes, just like the pages of my favorite books, I want to bookmark the memories. Today was one such day. I was waiting for February 6 when the ‘Walking Book Fairs’ would arrive in my city. It’s a mini truck that is on a travel spree across the nation to spread the joy of reading books.

I happened to meet Satabdi and Akshaya, the Founders of ‘Walking Book Fairs’. The two eccentric friends from Bhubaneswar have made it their mission to take a trip across 21 states in India driving a mini-truck filled with hundreds of books from all genres.

“We have a target to meet the people from 21 states, indulge them in reading in just 90 days. So far we’ve traveled 7,000 km, and Rajasthan is our 12th state”, told Akshaya.

Interestingly, it is Satabdi who drives the truck because Akshaya ‘never learned how to drive’. She said, “Because it’s me who drives, we mostly start in the morning. Night journey is a no-no. Apparently, safety reasons. The mere gawk of strangers looking at me (a female driver) is utterly creepy.”

So how did the idea of ‘’ start? Satabdi explained, “We began back in 2014 after experiencing degradation in the number of readers by every passing year. There are malls at every corner of the street but no bookshops. The older ones are closing down thinking e-books are taking over. But it’s not true. Reading paper books has its charm. So, we set ourselves on a random footpath in our city and spread the books on a sheet. Gradually, this idea was turned into a mobile van as soon as we realized more people must be educated, especially the ones who don’t get to attend school and want to explore the world of books.”

She made us meet Johny and Arjun, two street kids roaming around her barefoot. She became friends with them within a couple of hours after parking the book van in C-scheme. Arjun was given a coloring book and trust me, the excitement with which he was coloring the picture of Donald Duck was admirable.

Akshaya & Satabdi

So what can Jaipurites expect from the ‘Walking Book Fairs’? “Lots and lots of books. We’ve got fiction, non-fiction, biographies, and poems from all eras. We might have less space for ourselves, but we don’t compromise with accommodating the books. We’re not promoting any publisher or writer here and just want you to experience the world of imagination”, exclaimed Akshaya.

You know what peeps? Someone has rightly said, books can be your best friends. JWB urges you to support their noble mission and visit the van. Spend some time digging into their impressive collection. I bought a couple of books by my favorite author Khaled Hosseini.

. It’s here today and tomorrow (6th & 7th) from 10 am to 7 pm. Read books for free for as long as you want and buy them at a discount of 20% on the spot.

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