Published: 12th February 2020
Kitaabshaala in Bhubaneswar is the go-to space for all those who love to read and value silence
All the books at Kitaabshaala have been donated and many of them have been donated by Santwana Sagnika and Rhiti Chatterjee Bose. They are still open to accepting donations in the form of books
As per writer Virginia Woolf, a room of one's own is a must if you want to write something. But what if you want to read? For that, Kitaabshaala would be the ideal place. Located in Aryapalli, Bhubaneswar this space opened its doors, and books, in December last year. Essentially, it is a two BHK independent house in which, the hall is the library, one-bedroom is the reading room and another is an art studio. Started by Santwana Sagnika and Rhiti Chatterjee Bose, this is indeed a safe haven for book lovers.
The duo have been searching for a place since October 2019
Beige walls will welcome you as soon as you step into Kitaabshaala. While the decor is traditional, the walls are adorned with the artwork of Rhiti, who is an artist. "We realised that if we need to meet friends, we need to visit a café or an eatery and eat unnecessarily. Also, there is no scope for alone time. So this space serves the purpose," explains Santwana who is a lecturer at KIIT University. "Add to this fact that there are very few libraries where students can read for pleasure," she says.
The space houses 1,000 books and all of them have been donated by friends and acquaintances of the duo. Non-fiction, educational, poetry, books in different languages — expect all kinds of books at this space. Underprivileged youth and students under 12 can use the space for free. "We also want to offer free tuition for those students who cannot afford it," shares the lecturer who has been teaching at KIIT for six years.
Scenes for the space | (Pic: Kitaabshaala)
Apart from the library, they also conduct workshops. US-based author Lopa Banerjee recently conducted a memoir writing workshop, Rhiti herself conducted a mandala-drawing workshop and many more are on the agenda. They even offer the space for events and have already done so for the Bhubaneswar Poetry Club. We hear that the word is spreading about Kitaabshaala and at least two to three people walk-in every day and these are students who even visit the space to study. They have a few monthly subscribers too. The future could also be a co-working space which will add more value to the space, shares Santwana. "We also want to install Wifi routers and conduct drawing classes for both adults and children," she says. So, next time you want some peace and quiet and don't know where to go, head to Kitaabshaala.
What the space looks like
For more on them, check out facebook.com/kitaabshaala