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Frontlist | We Don’t Only Read Books – We Celebrate Them!

Frontlist | We Don’t Only Read Books – We Celebrate Them!
on Dec 10, 2020
Frontlist | We Don’t Only Read Books – We Celebrate Them!
In 1947, a young man in Amritsar began the tradition of lending books to people who visited his restaurant regularly. Over cups of tea and cigarette smoke, these men and women would discuss the joys of reading, and the surprising ways books could bring together kindred spirits. His son, Rajat, would come to see reading as a balm for the soul and an exercise in community-building, and slowly the restaurant would be swept up in a tide of books, becoming a full-fledged bookstore. In 1992, a branch of the store opened in Jaipur, and Rajat Book Corner quickly gained the reputation of being the city's literary hub. In 2007, Rajat's son, Mohit Batra led the bookstore into the digital age, celebrating the love of books through his initiative 'A Book is the Smartest Hand-Held Device'. What began as a strategy to sustain the bookstore evolved into a vision of the future of reading, with Mohit organizing hundreds of sessions with authors and experts in various fields, bringing them closer to readers, and curating a space for sharing knowledge. The events are held at majestic sites such as Hawa Mahal, Jantar Mantar, Rambagh Palace, and similar historical places in Jaipur. These days, the sessions have gone digital, but the verve of the events is not lost: with exciting interactive sessions, and every attendee receiving a print copy of the author's book in advance, which serves the dual purpose of acting as a ticket as well as a tangible take away from the event. The ticket cost of each event is simply the book and delivery price. Mohit has collaborated with big publishing houses and well-known organizations for each event, and is currently working with Tinkerbola, a unique hybrid platform which aims to bring high-quality and interactive learning experiences to children. Rajat Book Corner and Tinkerbola have worked together on sessions with Devika Rangachary, a known historian, and Anand Neelkanthan, writer of Bahubali, both life-altering experiences for the children involved. A recent session with Sudha Murthy, the celebrated short story writer, was enriching, hosted entirely by children. Mrs. Murthy answered questions such as her favourite books when she was a child, and gave advice to young writers: read more. Continuing their trailblazing mission of bringing great and curious minds together, Rajat Book Corner and Tinkerbola are hosting a session on 16th December with Jeffrey Archer, the international bestselling author, where he will be in conversation with children and share his tips on How to Write. The event is being presented by Tinkerbola, curated by Rajat Book Corner in association with Pan Macmillan India. Another session will be hosted on 24th December, with chef Uma Raghuraman and writer Krish Ashok, where food and science will come together in amazing ways. When a child reads a book and gets the opportunity to speak with its author, the effect is palpable. People are inspired to read more, and pay more attention to the world. The humbling, solitary act of reading brings us closer to ourselves. By Anuj Cariappa

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