Reading the trends

Reading the trends

Much has been written about the pleasures of shutting yourself away from the world and sitting down with a good book and a cup of coffee. But what was initially touted to be a solitary activity has now spread its wings and is taking on different forms and hues.  

People, clubs, businesses  - there is an entire fraternity that is working on making reading a more fun and interactive activity. From book fairies who drop books off in public places for you to find to startups that curate the perfect gift box for any bookworm, it is a Santa's world out there!

 One of the elves in this world is  Aamina Shabeer, a student of  Christ University and a book fairy. "I always wanted to be engaged in an activity related to literature.  My classmate became a book fairy a couple of months back and kept posting pictures on Instagram So I decided to give it a try," she says.

"I decided on my first book  - 'Dracula' by  Bram Stoker - and dropped it off at Christ University itself. I saw someone pick up the book after some time and that brought me immense joy. I feel such initiatives will bring about an important change because though the next  generation is reading, I feel they are not reading good books."

Aamina may have a point there. In a recent survey among 30 major countries,  the NOP  World Culture Score Index ranks India as the country that loves reading the most!  Indians clocked 10.4 hours of weekly reading. That's around one and a half hours of reading in a day. The data is purely based on the time spent in doing so and has no connection with literacy rates. So are we reading or not reading?

"I think the younger generation is doing a great job. For all their Snapchat and Facebook, they have read books and know what they are talking about. It is somewhat surprising that they are reading so much. You'd think they are always stuck on their phones but that's not true," says Nidhi Srivastava.  

And she should know. Nidhi is one of the founders of 'BYOB  - Bring Your Own Book'; a book club which has become something of a phenomenon in the country's literary space now.  

"I started 'BYOB' in 2015 with my friends because we wanted to meet more people with whom we could discuss our passion with. And it was not limited to friends. I share a fondness for books with my grandparents, so I envisaged this as a common platform for grandparents and grandchildren to come together and discuss books" she says with a smile.

If you are one of those who abhor human contact when you have a good book in your hand, then '' has got you covered.  

Says Prachi Saxena, "'' is a content website which sees crowdsourced content in the form of short stories, poems and so on. Once while going through the comments, I came across one which said 'Nice story; I just need a cup of tea with it'. It was an old yet popular notion  - the concept of tea and books  - but  I realised people still want to do this. So I decided to curate some things from my end for the book lovers out there."

The startup then came out with a box that puts together two books, a month's supply of a beverage, 5-6 'bookish' goodies, a  D-I-Y kit and a postcard with some of their unpublished original content. The box, which can be availed using a monthly subscription, is a bookworm's treasure trove!

So what are... no, how are you reading today?

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