'Load the Box': A box full of literary surprises
Bibliophiles from in and around the city made their way to this event to get their hands on both pre-loved and new books
A five-minute leisurely walk from the Mandi House metro station on a breezy Thursday afternoon led us to the Aga Khan Hall on Bhagwan Das Road. People—usually in groups of two and three—were seen walking to the same destination where Kitab Lovers, a city-based organisation, is hosting a four-day book fair featuring pre-loved and fresh titles. Unlike other book sales, this event—it is called ‘Load the Box’—allows visitors to buy a cardboard box and accommodate as many books as they can, the only condition being that the box must close flat.
Kitab Lovers was established as a venture to create a market for pre-loved books. “A book lover is concerned about the content of the book and not if the book is new or not. We thus tried to get pre-loved titles to readers,” shared Harpreet Singh, co-founder. The major problem I saw while working as a bookseller was that people wanted to read the books but it was because of the price that they could not do so. This is how the concept came in such that people could buy pre-loved books in a box, and the pricing would be limited so as to allow them to get more [books],” added RK Shankar, co-founder. Since their inception in 2018, the organisation—apart from selling books through their website—has been organising literary-based events across various cities such as Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Surat, Chandigarh, etc.
A paradise for bibliophiles
Amid the hubbub at the event, several avid readers combed through the available titles that were neatly stacked on shelves—classifying the so-claimed 10 lakh books into categories such as hardcover, fiction, non-fiction, children’s books, etc. While talking about the challenges of filling their box, Sucharita Biswas (33) shared, “It is like both a boon and a bane for us. So many books and such a small box (laughs). I was looking forward to getting 20 to 25 books but I have only been able to fit 15 in this box.” A book reviewer from Ghaziabad, Biswas purchased A Caribbean Mystery by Agatha Christie, Stephen Fry’s The Hippopotamus, among other such titles.
Visitors had the option to buy one of the three boxes—the Money Saver Box priced at Rs 1,100; Wealth Box priced at Rs 1,650; Treasure Box at Rs 2,750—wherein they could place the books they were looking forward to buying. We noticed Saara Aamir Hasan (14) sitting in a corner, with more than 30 titles and a big box next to her on the floor. Her parents were trying to fit the books chosen by her into the box. “The last book fair I went to was years ago in Pragati Maidan. I had a great time there, so when my dad told me about this place, we knew that we had to come,” shared the Noida resident who likes to read books by John Green, Rick Riordan, etc. For Aanchal Lodhi (24), the book sale was nothing short of a Raksha Bandhan celebration—she was at the event with her brother. “He is 11 but he reads a lot. We are here to get books for him. We have been able to fit about 15 in this box, and I have some great titles here,” she shared.
The space also paved the way for a few visitors to meet fellow book enthusiasts from the city. Trisha Sachdeva (20) shared that she met many people and spoke to them about the titles she was buying. In fact, a few books that she purchased on Thursday were recommended to her by readers at the venue. “I am happy to be here. The event gave me a great chance to connect with avid readers who share similar interests, “concluded the Ghaziabad resident.
CHECK IT OUT
WHAT: Lock The Box
WHERE: Aga Khan Hall, Bhagwan Das Lane, Mandi House
WHEN: Till August 14