In this age of kindles and Amazon, ‘Books & Brews India’ is a rare thing: a series of live readings for hungry bibliophiles, and a community drawn to words. This has opened doors to intimate silent reading parties, workshops, and book shop crawls. Curated by Vidhi Kundan Jain, Books & Brews India has hosted powerful spoken word artists, poets and celebrated authors, and their book shop crawls have developed a following of those who crave the comfort of quaint book shop aisles and dusty shelves.
“The idea of starting a community over books is something that I definitely wished for even for before I knew it,” Kundan Jain explains. “Books and local stores have been an integral part of my life. Doing something like this comes from a space of wanting to share the same joy, beauty and love for reading with as many people as we can. As a city or country, we lack quality public libraries. The next best thing we have here is bookstores. To be able to preserve this, we need these bookstores to exist in brick and shelves by supporting them.”
The first edition of bookshop crawls was launched last year, and the second edition takes place this weekend across several of Bangalore’s most iconic bookstores. This weekend’s crawl invites people to get drunk…on essays, novels and poetry, the smell of pages of text and the thrill of finding a book that hits all the right literary spots. This time around, the crawl will feature music performances at each stop including Ben and Prashant of Vasudhaiva Ride and harmonicist Siddharth Suresh. Attendees will listen as authors Roopa Pai and Shweta Taneja talk about their work as well as the importance of bookstores. Additionally, you’ll be able to say hello to illustrators Khushnaz Lala, Natalia Rebecca Isaac, Jai Jain, and Swadha Jaiswal who will be live sketching participants.
With Books and Brews India and their book shop crawls, not only will you get to discover new haunts and revisit old ones, you’ll also meet other book addicts, listen to new music, meet some of the city’s most prolific illustrators, stop for coffee breaks, get to know the story behind your favourite bookshops, and help them out in the process.
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