Who said books are losing their charm and reading is dying? City folks have taken to reading in a big way. And, there is no age group that appears averse to reading, says the librarian of Ernakulam Public Library V.G. Ramachandran.

The public library has gone from strength to strength. Today it has nearly 9,000 members and 1.35 lakh titles, which are sought out by avid readers, including the non-members, who throng its reading rooms daily.

In fact, said Mr. Ramachandran, the library has opened two extension counters within the city to cater to the needs of the readers.

The first extension counter was opened at the High Court Advocates' Association Hall, where on the first and third Thursdays of a month a large number of books are made available for members to choose from. The extension counter opens for two hours.

Another extension counter has been opened at the AKG Library, Chakkaraparampu, which opens for two hours on the first and third Sundays of every month.

“We are looking to open more extension counters,” said Mr. Ramachandran. The case of the EMS Cooperative Library at Kakkanad is another example of how people love the written word. The membership has soared to nearly 9,000 now from a meagre 100 in October 1999. The number of titles has gone up to 85,000 from the 5,000 it started with.

It would be impossible to imagine Kochiites going without these two landmark institutions that carter to their need for the solidity of the written word in a city that has so easily waded into the passing world of fads.

Public library has gone from strength to strength.