Vijayawada

World Book Day: century-old library distributes 50,000 books

Book lovers browsing through books at the free books distribution organised by the Sarvotham Grandhalaya in in Vijayawada on Sunday. —Photo: Ch. Vijaya Bhaskar

Book lovers browsing through books at the free books distribution organised by the Sarvotham Grandhalaya in in Vijayawada on Sunday. —Photo: Ch. Vijaya Bhaskar

Just one good look at the delirious crowd on the premises of Sarvotham Grandhalaya, near Benz Circle, on Sunday was enough to conclude that a paper book will never lose its charm.

People came in droves from all walks of life to lap up the 50,000-odd books the ancient library distributed free of cost on Saturday and Sunday on the occasion of World Book Day.

Raavi Sarada, who runs the library with a great amount of passion, believes that a book lying idle on a shelf is wasted ammunition.

“Like money, books must be kept in constant circulation. A book is not only a friend, it makes friends for you. When you have possessed a book with mind and spirit, you are enriched. But when you pass it on you are enriched threefold,” she says.

The library launched free distribution of books last year and intends to make it a tradition.

“Encouraged by public response last year, when we had a collection of only 6,000 books, I decided to repeat the exercise this year on a larger scale. A plea to publishers, organisations and individuals to donate used books evoked tremendous response while the public reaction was even better,” says an elated Ms. Sarada.

Both the days witnessed near-stampede situation in the morning and evening hours. Since the collection was large, the organisers allowed each visitor to pick three to four books unlike one book last year.

For better arrangement, the library borrowed racks from the Book Festival Society for proper display. “At the end of the second day, what I have realised is that two days is not enough for this kind of an activity.

There is remarkable enthusiasm among both, the donors of books who include publishers, book stores and individuals and book-lovers who pored over the content in the first few pages of books they could lay their hands on,” she said.

Ms. Sarada, also secretary of Andhra Pradesh Library Association (APLA), said for one who reads, there is no limit to the number of lives that may be lived, for fiction, biography and history offer an inexhaustible number of lives in many parts of the world, in all periods of time.

“Growing up, I found books were the centre of my life. Being alone magnifies my excitement. I love the smell of a book. It is certainly not the same as reading on Kindle or an I-pad,” said Saumya G., flipping through pages of a book.

For Kusuma, an engineering final year student, reading a book is almost like a love affair. “From the moment you spot a book it in a bookstore and read its title, smell the ink and pulp as you flip pages, waiting for what’s coming next to the time you finish the last page; look back at how wonderful the experience has been,” she says with a smile.

Like money, books must be kept in constant circulation

Raavi Sarada

APLA secretary


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Printable version | May 18, 2022 3:29:57 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Vijayawada/world-book-day-centuryold-library-distributes-50000-books/article8518809.ece