Read it right
Meet like-minded readers and participate in literature-themed games at a day-long readers' festival
Let's face it — most literature fests are an acquired taste. Even seasoned, passionate readers who fawn over their preferred tomes and authors on online forums and at book clubs often steer clear of the sombre panel discussions that have come to be a hallmark of most 'serious' book festivals. A Mumbai-based start-up, Readsnet, is endeavouring to change that with a day-long festival named Twice Read. As the 24-year-old founder Harshala Chavan describes it, this is a festival that celebrates reading, while also giving bibliophiles a platform to connect with like-minded peers. Think of it as a half-way point between a Comic Con and a typical literary festival, she elaborates.
"Our goal is to create a reading-themed event that has something to offer readers of all ages and preferences — attendees can look forward to engaging in literature-themed games such as hopscotch and twister, participate in numerous giveaways and book exchanges, and interact with the founders of various book clubs across the city," says Chavan. The event is being headlined by authors Anand Neelkantan and Dr Radhakrishnan Pillai, and will also feature, among others, Books on Toast founder Anuya Jakatdar and Sonya Dutta Choudhury, who started the Juhu Book Club. Science fiction and comics fans will enjoy participating in genre-based quizzes, while conscientious readers can seek inspiration from the reading habits of Nobel laureates. As a nod to the various ways in which technological innovations are changing the way we read, organisers have also included discussions with Bibhu Datta Rout, co-founder of StoryMirror, and Devashish Sharma, country head at Wattpad. There's also an augmented reality based experiential quiz.
As any bookworm will attest, followers of popular series — be it Harry Potter or Game of Thrones — are often as invested in the development of the storyline as the author(s) themselves. Quite befittingly, therefore, the organisers of Twice Read are offering disgruntled fans the opportunity to rewrite the finale of Game of Thrones themselves; publisher Half Baked Beans will also compile the best entries as an e-book. By the end of the event, the organisers hope that all visitors will depart having made at least a few friends with similar reading habits — the interactive Book Bingo and a book exchange have been especially included in the itinerary to facilitate this.
Sonya Dutta Choudhury
Expect to spend at least three to four hours at Twice Read so that you can savour the vast variety of experiences that the event has to offer.
ON October 20, 10 am to 8 pm.
AT Fr Conceicao Rodrigues College of Engineering, Mount Mary, Bandra West.
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