Aizawl: If you’re in Aizawl, especially at Mission Vengthlang locality, chances are that you will come across a small bookshelf hung up in the boundary wall of a house belonging to eminent journalist and writer Lalhruaitluanga Chawngte.
Chawngte would like to call it his ‘Little Library’, where anyone can come and pick up a book, read it and keep it in the bookshelf again. If anyone wants to borrow it can do so and read it at home, before returning it to the ‘library’.
Little Library was set up by Chawngte in memory of his late father, Rev C Lianhmingthanga.
Speaking with EastMojo, Chawngte said, “I had heard about the concept of a roadside library. Although I was sceptical and nervous at first, I really wanted to make a valuable contribution to my society. I felt this was the best way I could contribute. So, on the birthday of my late father, which was November 4, I started this ‘Little Library’ in front of our house at Mission Vengthlang.”
Chawngte mentioned that as the concept was new to Mizo society, he was unsure about how people would react to it. “I told myself that even if one person who passes by picks up and reads a book, my dream would be accomplished,” he said.
Surpassing his expectations, Little Library received appreciation and support from society. Neighbours and friends from other localities have now contributed books on religious and cultural topics.
“I have been receiving a lot of positive feedback. People who never picked up a book in their life have started reading now. They have even requested me to open the library during night,” he said.
“The best part about this library is that a majority of the readers are school children, who would pick up books on their way home from school,” he exclaimed with joy.
The Little Library has just two simple rules:
1. Read and keep it again.
2. You can take a book home and return it after reading it.
Following the footsteps of Chawngte, the Pachhunga University College in Aizawl also started a ‘Little Free Library’ on November 15 at their college campus. Like Chawngte’s Little Library, anyone can borrow a book or contribute one as per his or her wish.