Readers’ paradise

A membership card, an address and a phone number is all you need to join this library. Yes, you heard right — there’s no deposit and no reading charge. This is Yashoda’s Library. Twelve-year-old Yashoda D. Shenoy, a Std VII student at Thirumala Devaswom High School, Mattancherry, Kochi, opened this library six months ago. Born in the Zodiac sign of Cancer, she celebrated her birthday on July 10.

Fine and a new idea

Her brother, Achuthan is a voracious reader like her. Then, one day, he failed to return a library book on time. He was fined for this. Yashoda saw her father paying the fine and this set her thinking.

She realised that for many, the prospect of having to pay a heavy fine may be an impediment, putting a lid on their reading. The young entrepreneur decided that no one must be denied the joy of reading simply because there may be a fine at the end of the story, so to speak.

Her solution was to start a library. With 3,000 books, both fiction and non-fiction and 140 members, the library is one of the most talked about venture in India today.

The library was inaugurated on January 26 by K.S. Radhakrishnan, former Vice Chancellor, Kalady Shankara University. “My library is run professionally. I man the library between 4:00 p.m. and 7.00 p.m. and my parents play librarians in the morning when I go to school. We have a library card where the member’s details along with the book details are stored. We work on trust and I’m happy that people have not taken advantage of the fact that the books are free,” says a proud Yashoda.

Going viral

Her father, Dinesh R. Shenoy posted his daughter’s efforts on social media and ever since books, donations and members have been growing. The library is on the first floor of her house, sharing space with her father’s art gallery.

Family and well-wishers donated racks and books to make her dream come true. The library is open to all age groups.

“My youngest member is a two-and-a-half-year-old, who comes in every week to borrow books. I have managed to get books for her with thicker pages, that don’t tear. I also have older people coming in to borrow autobiographies and non-fiction books. When I started the library, I knew I wanted to cater to people who cannot buy books. I wanted to make sure that money would not play a part in anyone’s reading interest. My library is for all and it’s free.”

There are books in English, Malayalam, Konkani, Hindi and Sanskrit. What’s more, if you are not mobile, or are unwell, the books will be delivered to you.

Yashoda’s picks

Favourite authors: Vaikkom Mohammed Basheer and Shiv Khera

Now reading: Janmadinam

Favourites: You can win/ Stories of Sherlock Holmes

Ten years from now: An advocate

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Printable version | Jan 25, 2022 2:38:23 AM |

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