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Updated: February 26, 2012 00:21 IST

Books and beyond

Sowmiya Ashok
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Where ideas meet: ‘Book Building’ will enable lively discussions around books and the arts. Photo: M. Karunakaran
The Hindu
Where ideas meet: ‘Book Building’ will enable lively discussions around books and the arts. Photo: M. Karunakaran

Who said a book strictly lies between its covers? With different people interpreting it in various ways, the content can go far and beyond the confines of its pages. It is this idea that has prompted Tara Books to set up ‘Book Building', a cultural space that would serve as a platform for readers or writers, and artists to see where their ideas meet.

Launched in Thiruvanmiyur on Saturday, this space seeks to facilitate discussions or activities around books and the arts.

A beautiful tree-shaped mural by Gond artist Bhajju Shyam that adorns the wall of the outdoor space seems to indicate how this space will evolve over time. “Initially, I only planned to draw a tamarind tree sprouting new leaves. But now I plan to add to this mural each time I visit Chennai,” said the artist.

Architect Mahesh Radhakrishnan, who designed the building, compared the white structure with creative window grilles to musical notes. “In music, the notes come and then the pauses follow. Here the pauses come first, representing spaces and everything is built around these creative spaces.” The idea was to make the design of the building as collaborative as possible, just like Tara Books does with every project they take up, said Mr. Radhakrishnan, pointing to their practice of writers collaborating with artists.

‘Book Building', a clever play of words, is open to community groups that want to use it for book-related events. Gita Wolf, Director, Tara Books, said: “Reading a book is a physical act and since so many things are going virtual this is an initiative to restore a couple of things,” referring to a community building that is open to anyone who just wants to come and read while sipping a cup of coffee.

An exhibition of books published by Tara and a series of original art work will be on display for a month following the launch at this community space that sports a beautiful Meena art form.

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