Satabdi Mishra and Akshaya Kumar Rautaray (of Walking BookFairs) are on a mission to help raise literacy across India. They took this dream to a whole new level earlier this year by launching a traveling project with a truck brimming with over four thousand books. The duo set out to travel for 90 days across 10,000 km and 20 states. The home-grown initiative Read More, India involves a miniature library on wheels and, through their journey, Rautaray and Mishra are determined to encourage reading amongst their people.
Over the course of the trip they held small book fairs and opened the “library” to the public, parking the car around the city to allow people to come and peruse the selection. “People are free to walk in to the truck and read books for as long as they want to. We don't charge them any fees whatsoever. For those who want to purchase something from us we give them a flat 20% off,” Mishra explains. The modest movement was funded by HarperCollins India, Pan Macmillan India, and Parragon Publishers.
One of the leading incentives about their little mobile library is its stock, which includes fairy tales, thrillers, and even modern best-sellers. “We as a society, as citizens, as parents, teachers and friends, have an obligation to inspire and encourage young people to read more books. It is only through books that we can create a truly beautiful world without boundaries where each of us can realize their true potential,” says Rautaray of the project. The grassroots operation aims to spark interest among both the younger generation and remote villagers that otherwise would not have access to reading materials, sharing the pleasure of reading one book (and mile) at a time.