Nestled in the city’s core, Vizag Reads brings together the avid book lovers of Visakhapatnam, forming a hub for the delightful journey of literary discovery. This community extends a warm embrace to anyone eager to embrace the joy of reading. Inspired by the literary gatherings at Bengaluru’s Cubbon Park, Shireen Meher and Meghana Gorli started Vizag Reads which created its own unique space, a tranquil reading haven beneath the sprawling canopy of VMRDA Central Park’s majestic trees. Every Sunday at 9 AM, the Vizag bookworms gather, fostering the love for books amidst the serene ambience of nature.
Shireen and Meghana, brought together by a natural dyeing workshop, found a common bond in their shared passions and the vision of establishing a reading community in the City of Destiny. Inspired by the Cubbon Reads community in Bengaluru, they reached out to them, receiving encouragement and guidance to initiate a similar community in Vizag, adhering to the same principles.
No strict protocol for introductions is in place; anyone can effortlessly enter, find a spot, and begin reading with their belongings. At the session’s conclusion, Shireen and Meghana rally the attendees to capture a photo of them with their reading material. Shireen emphasises that this community is especially welcoming to introverts seeking connections, providing an avenue for those who wish to venture out and discover, all without enforcing any obligatory meet-and-greet rules.
The city houses only a few book communities available for exploration, and Vizag Reads serves as a valuable addition, welcoming individuals of all ages to simply walk in and cultivate their reading habits. Vizag Reads has a magnetic pull that extends beyond readers, drawing in writers and sketchers as well. Some find the place tranquil, using it as a space to write or gather their thoughts and put them on paper.
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In the 9th chapter of Vizag Reads, two young girls participated in a book date, spending their time immersed in reading and sketching. “It is a wonderful experience, we are enjoying the opportunity to share and read our favourite books to each other”, they described.
A mother and daughter duo, returning for their second session, expressed their longing for a community like Vizag Reads in the city. They shared their immense pleasure in discovering this community and the sense of belonging it provided.
When asked about conducting any other activities alongside reading, Shireen explains, “Introducing additional activities might put pressure on individuals, hindering the free and open atmosphere that currently exists. The primary goal is to establish an inclusive space for everyone and to foster the dwindling habit of reading.”
“Shireen and I crossed paths at a natural dyeing workshop, discovering our shared interests and forming a strong friendship. Inspired by our bond, we aimed to establish a comparable space where individuals from diverse backgrounds with common interests and tastes could connect. Being residents of the City of Destiny, we were determined to bring this idea to life right here in Vizag,” Meghana elaborated.
Participating in this community doesn’t come with any membership fees or subscriptions. All you need to do is bring a mat, snack and your choice of book, newspaper, or any reading material that intrigues you, and feel free to join Vizag Reads every Sunday from 9 am to 11 am.
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