Mumbai: Bookworms start young
However, in the golden months of May and June, this rule is relaxed
The Nehru Centre library is an underused and underappreciated space. A cavernous room with sunlight pouring in from one side, the 80-seater reference library, with more than 30,000 titles, is mostly used by students working on projects or appearing for their competitive exams, or senior citizens, who shuffle in for their daily papers. It's usually half-filled, even though it's a free space, because walk-ins aren't allowed to bring their own books in. However, in the golden months of May and June, this rule is relaxed.
Librarian Arati Desai initiated Let's Read Together in the summer of 2015 to get families to explore books together. She reasons, "There are many families who don't go out of town to holiday [during summer vacations]. So, the kids are sent to camps all over the city, just to kill time.
But, there is no activity in which families can indulge in reading together. Families travel, shop, visit malls, eat out together, but there is nothing for reading. So, we want to offer this space for parents to sit with their children." The library has books for every age group and is an ideal venue for an outing. "Sometimes parents read to the kids, or they supervise and kids can ask them the meaning of a particular word or how to pronounce a particular word. Parents can also pick up something for themselves. So, it's a voyage of discovery for them, since they're spending time in a space that is meant for reading. Sometimes, grandparents also accompany the children. So, it's truly a family activity."
Where: Nehru Centre, Dr. Annie Besant Road, Worli
When: May 1 to June 30; Monday to Saturday; 10 AM to 6 PM
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A walk through Mohammed Ali Road's Khau Galli