Keep your kids engaged with reading adventures at these libraries across Mumbai

07 May,2023 07:32 AM IST |  Mumbai  |  Christalle Fernandes

It’s holiday time but the heat is keeping the kids in. What better place to turn them loose than a library?

Dr Shonali Rathi

Summer vacation is here and with temperatures shooting way past usual, telling your kids to go outside and play isn't really a viable option. But adventures can be had within the pages of books as well. Here's a round-up of libraries around the city you can take your kids to keep them productively engaged this summer.

The Book Nest Library and FunScienceClub

Packed with an array of colourful editions, this library aims to be a haven for children to read and grow, which is why founder Dr. Shonali Rathi christened it ‘The Book Nest Library'. "It's a nest for kids to come in…a nest that's nurturing a love for books in children," the founder, who's also a doctor, explains.

The 12 year old library also has a book discussion club to encourage thought-provoking conversations among kids. "We try and promote Indian authors because today's kids should be exposed to writing from India," Rathi says. The library's 10,000-odd collection features books by Ruskin Bond, Sudha Murty, and Roald Dahl.
WHEN: Monday to Saturday, 10.30 AM to 7 PM
WHERE: Dr Ambedkar Road, Dadar
Call: 9819580259

Pai Friends Library

This 37-year-old library began with a humble collection of 100-odd books. Pundalik Pai, the owner, reminiscences about how he started the library in 1986 after he graduated. At the time, the library stocked popular Marathi and English novels of the day. Now, it boasts a stock of over five lakh books. The library was the first in India to organize a Book Streets programme on the occasion of World Book Day, with over one lakh books displayed on Dombivli's Phadke Road.
WHEN: Monday to Sunday, 8 AM to 9 PM
WHERE: Dombivli East
Call: 9833732713

The Gyan Library

The Gyan Library can be seen parked on the corners of the bustling streets of northern Mumbai. Started by Chintan Dagli in 2021, the free mobile library has more than 9,000 books for children of all ages. An engineer by profession who lived in the US for 16 years, Dagli was inspired by the kind of infrastructure the US has for public libraries. "Trying to get someone to read is a very difficult job," Dagli says, talking about how children are more attracted to technology than books. "The hope is that your child gets into the habit, and that habit stays with them forever."

The mobile van parks itself in different locations throughout the week in Dahisar, Borivli, Kandivli, and Malad. Dagli proudly tells us that more than 2,500 parents have signed up so far, with over one lakh books being read. That's around 40 books per child, on an average. The secret, he says, is in the curation of the books, which are arranged in a color-coded layout. The Geronimo Stilton series, Peppa Pig, Sudha Murty's books, and Harry Potter are popular favourites. "The usual feedback we get is that the parents are surprised by how much their kids get attracted to reading." Dagli says happily. "It's a revelation for them as well."
WHEN: Every day, 12 PM to 8.30 PM
WHERE: Dahisar to Malad
CALL: 7208391799

Bandra Books on Wheels

Bandra Books on Wheels was launched in 2019 by the 105-year-old National Library of Bandra. Pramod Mahadik, the general secretary of the library, says that the initiative stemmed out of a desire to promote reading among the public. "As a library, our intention is to increase the circulation of books so that they reach a larger number of people," he says. "We have around 4,000 books in four different languages - Marathi, Hindi, English, and Gujarati - and books for children too."

The library, which currently boasts of a subscription of 200 members, can be found at prominent junctions in the western and northern suburbs of the city, including Bimbisar Nagar in Goregaon, Bandra Reclamation, and Saraswat colony in Santa Cruz West. The van halts for 30 to 45 minutes
at each spot.
WHEN: Monday to Saturday, 3 PM to 7 PM
WHERE: Kurla to Goregaon and Borivali (Alternate Saturdays)
CALL: 8928605783

"Exciting news! Mid-day is now on WhatsApp Channels Subscribe today by clicking the link and stay updated with the latest news!" Click here!
life and style sunday mid-day mumbai Lifestyle news culture news Arts and culture Books
Related Stories