‘Books n Beyond’- Upcoming Kerala library where reading is fun, hassle-free- The New Indian Express

Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: This is a library you can walk into without the hassles of maintaining a membership. You pay nothing here to read a book. You can just walk in, read the book and give it back when you leave. If you want to take the book home, you need to furnish a security amount. But that will duly be returned when the book is given back. For those in love with reading, ‘Books n Beyond’ – set to open by the end of the month – is just the right place to waltz in. 

The unique library is a dream come true for Thiruvananthapuram resident Sukesh Ramakrishna Pillai. For the 43-year-old, reading is an emotion. “The sole aim is to nurture a habit of reading, which appears to be lost in the new generation,” Sukesh says. “This is no business. That’s why we haven’t kept any membership fees. Anyone can walk in and take a book and read.”He says the capital city once had a vibrant culture where reading was celebrated. 

“We used to have the British Library. Its closure was a let-down for all those who loved books. This is an effort to bring people, especially children, back to books,” says Sukesh, who works in a public sector undertaking. He is also the founder of the ‘Love All Sports’ initiative. Located on Janvilla Lane in Sasthamangalam, the library hosts over 9,000 books, most of which have been donated by book lovers. The idea took off when Sukesh spoke to two of his childhood friends – Asok P and Prakash M A – who shared his love of reading.

Using the library platform, he has drawn up a lot of plans, such as holding frequent storytelling sessions. From comics to reference books, the library has a range of books for readers of all ages, he says. Attached to the library is a cafeteria, which carries paintings themed on literary characters. The three friends have pooled resources to set up the library and buy books to the tune of Rs 3 lakh. The rest of the collection was contributed by book lovers from the city, and other parts of the country, Sukesh says.

“Thiruvananthapuram has a serious crowd of readers, and this was evident in the way many people got in touch with me. Children these days are glued to screens. Here, a book can be borrowed by depositing a security amount, which is thrice the rate of the book. This is only to ensure that people bring it back,” says Sukesh.

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