Book lovers in Pune are in for a treat. While the race between ebooks and printed books tighten with digitization, a ‘book village’ in Bhilar is letting you walk and pick through 15,000 rare books of various periodicals, novels and reference books about Maharashtra and Marathi culture written by prominent authors.
Notably, Bhilar, otherwise known for its local strawberries, will become India’s first ‘book village’ where tourists and locals can come and read books, magazines, newspapers stacked at 25 premises. Maharashtra Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, prominent Marathi writers, poets, and artists are expected to attend the village’s inauguration scheduled on Thursday afternoon. Over 75 artists have ensured that the village which will shelter bibliophiles, looks aesthetically pleasing. From temples, houses to tourist spots everything has been covered with a layer of graffiti.
The idea of ‘pustakanche gaon’ – book village in Marathi – came from Hey-on-Wye, a small place known as ‘town of books’ in Wales, United Kingdom. In an attempt to promote literature, the government will organize a number of events as a part of their venture. The events will be hosted by prominent writers and poets for the next few days.
State education minister Vinod Tawde said that the Maharashtra government wanted to encash on Bhilar’s location for the promotion of tourism and Marathi language in the area. To incubate the idea, the government brought 10,000 books and magazines, including issues of old popular Diwali Anks or special issues of Marathi magazine published during the festival of lights with the help of locals this week.