The idea of The Book Fairies is simple. There are people who like to read, and to share the books they’ve read. These two things come together with The Book Fairies – giving people a chance to pop a sticker and some ribbon on a book, make it a little surprise gift for someone, and leave it somewhere to be discovered!
Launched in March 2017, today there are over 9000 Bokfairies in over 100 countries. We caught up with the official Kolkata Bookfairy, Pritha Ray, a first year student of Calcutta University.
When did Bookfairies start?
It was started in 26 countries on International Women’s Day – 8th of March 2017; Delhi being one of them. The idea is to encourage reading and sharing of books. We also aim to promote local bookstores and independent authors.
So you go around hiding books in different venues in the city – what are the usual venues and how do people know about the locations?
The location is any public space be it a café or a bus stop. Our Book fairies pick a spot based on the accessibility of a location to their general public.
When did Bookfairies Kolkata start?
The first book drop in Kolkata was made in August,2017.
How has the response been so far?
The response has been absolutely wonderful. We get to connect with a community of passionate and enthusiastic bibliophiles.
Nothing makes us happier than seeing our books being found and the finders reactions really do make our day.
You also put messages inside the books – tell us about that.
We include handwritten notes inside each book we drop. It provides information about us and provides our social media information so that the finder can connect with us.
What are the kinds of books that you drop off?
We try to drop books of all genres. However, most of the books dropped belong to the fiction genre.
Can anyone become a book fairy?
Yes! Anyone who wants to be a Book Fairy can easily do so. You can connect with us on our social media pages and we’ll guide you!
Why would you say it is important to read?
I don’t think the importance of reading can be emphasised enough. At present the education system is structured in a way as to only impart information that one can use to advanc one’s career. However there are other sides to a human that needs to be equally nurtured. Reading as much and as variedly as one can be is the best way of acquiring knowledge about different things and of travelling without ever leaving home.Personally, being able to immerse oneself in a whole other dimension is what I love most about reading.
Do you think it is important to inculcate the habit of reading in the current generation?
It’s quite important to inculcate the habit of reading and the best way to do so is to lead by example. As a child I always saw my mother reading and she has always encouraged me to read as much as I can. Furthermore, increasing access to books by upgrading public libraries would be a good start.
Can you give us a hint on where you are going to drop off a book next?
We are going to be hiding a book at a popular metro station next!
You can find The Book Fairies Kolkata on Instagram here .