In 2021, while the pandemic was slowly losing its grip around the world and thereby our little town, we began to quietly tighten our grip around the idea of opening a bookstore. Our town has never had a bookstore that’s not just for academic necessity. After two years of getting to know the reading trends of our town and the potential growth of it (it wasn’t as absent as we had feared) through interactions at the bookstore, we decided on a library. A place where book titles are more permanently available and a place where they can enjoy reading and the company of other readers.
The library was opened in April of 2023, with a little over 500 book titles spread over 15 genres, an archive station (thanks to a wonderful and a very timely collaboration with The Northeast India AV Archive), and quaint reading spaces between bookshelves and sun lid windows.
Located next to the bookstore, the library beats right at the heart of Ukhrul Town, Manipur. While the bookstore allowed us to promote and distribute books among old and new readers, the library allows us to provide the townsfolks access to a larger, more permanent collection of books, including but not limited to, out of print books, books too expensive to buy, books in different (new) genres and so on. It provides space to young students to work on their academic duties and learn more beyond it.
The space is also used for book related events like a launch of new books, book discussion, books reading, etc.
In many ways, this is a space for storytelling, reading and writing to matter to us.