Poems on the road

By Amrita Guha

The era when everything is turning digital, with advanced technological support even books have been replaced by e-books. Libraries remain empty while the book stores are finding it hard to sell the copies to the present generation who are engrossed in Kindle and other e-books. At a time when reading books have been literally dropped by today’s youth, two friends Satabdi Mishra and Akshaya Ravtaray are travelling throughout the entire nation with a remarkable ambition to promote reading books among the present generation.

The two friends who believe that Indians should read more books have started with 4000 books with a mission to cover all around 10,000 kms consisting of the major cities, towns and villages in a minivan. Started at early as on 2015, the duo is still carrying on with their idea as they are in the road trip with thousands of books touring almost 20 states.

The book truck stops at various places like schools, colleges, residential areas and displays books for the people to read and sell them at a discount rate in order to increase a reading habit among the people.  According to Ravtaray, there should be more libraries than the shopping malls but in today’s world, there are more shopping malls and the libraries are decreasing in numbers. The greatest aim they have is to engage the citizens into the conversation of how important it is to read books. 

The duo who own a simple small book store in Bhubaneshwar gave discount all year for the books as they learned how expensive the books are, which in turn affecting the reading habit as it is becoming inaccessible for the common people. They also have a small space within the bookstore which allow readers to read books all day without any charge.

The books they sell are either in English or regional languages as they feel people get more connected to their own languages which enable them to read more books.  They also keep the cost low to encourage people to buy more books and with an intention that even people from small towns and suburbs can also afford them. These two book fairies are the saviours to the present generation who are forgetting the classy habit of reading books.