National Reading Day: Date, Background, Significance and 5 books to read for beginners

National Reading Day: Date, Background, Significance and 5 books to read for beginners

National Reading Day: Date, Background, Significance and 5 books to read for beginners

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1996 saw the establishment of National Reading Day on June 19 in honor of Puthuvayil Narayana Panicker.

By Khushi Maheshwari 

In honor of Puthuvayil Narayana Panicker, an advocate of libraries and literacy, India observes National Reading Day on June 19. The “Father of India’s Library Movement,” Panicker was known for his belief that reading and education were the keys to advancement. 

His commitment resulted in the establishment of Kerala’s first public library in 1945 and served as the impetus for a state-wide library movement. In 1996, June 19th was proclaimed National Reading Day in honor of him. It is recommended that Indians pick up a book and engage in reading activities on this day.

National Reading Day’s Background

P.N. Panicker led the Kerala Granthshala Sangham (KGS) in establishing the esteemed Travancore Palace Library and fostering the state’s literary landscape. When the KGS first began, it was known as the Travancore Literary Association and consisted of a network of 47 municipal libraries. It concentrated on delivering education directly to communities under Panicker’s direction.

After Kerala state was established in 1956, the KGS had a significant growth, with the addition of more than 1,600 libraries to its network. The KGS achieved international prominence thanks to Panicker’s vision and leadership, which culminated in their receipt of the renowned UNESCO Krupsakaya Award in 1975.

Importance of National Reading Day

P.N. Panicker, who sparked an interest in reading in India, is honored on National Reading Day. Panicker, who was dubbed the “Father of Reading,” passed away on June 19, 1995.  His foundation of the Sanadana Dharma Library, Kerala’s first public library, marked the beginning of his legacy. A push for state libraries was started by this statute.

Kerala celebrates National Reading Day in style and beyond. Every year on June 19th, they begin a special “Reading Week” named Vayana Varam. The Kerala Association for Non-Formal Education and Development (KANFED) was impacted by Panicker.  Particularly in rural areas, KANFED was essential in lowering the rate of illiteracy and advancing education.

Thanks to Panicker’s efforts, Kerala is now a literacy leader. The state has high literacy rates, according to national polls, which attests to the movement’s enduring influence. A theme Panicker championed throughout his life, National Reading Day serves as a reminder of the joy and wisdom found within books.

Here are 5 Books that you will help you enter the realm of readers easily: 

  1. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho:  A shepherd boy follows his dream across the desert, learning profound truths about destiny and the journey of life.
  1. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini:  A poignant tale of friendship and redemption set against the backdrop of Afghanistan’s tumultuous history, exploring guilt, loyalty, and the power of forgiveness.
  2. A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini: An emotional saga of two Afghan women, Mariam and Laila, whose lives intersect amidst the turmoil of decades of war and oppression, revealing resilience, sacrifice, and the enduring power of love.
  3. Normal People by Sally Rooney: A tender exploration of complex relationships between Connell and Marianne, navigating love, friendship, and identity from high school in small-town Ireland to university in Dublin, as they grow and change alongside each other.
  1. Sapiens: A brief History of Humankind by Noah Harari: offers a provocative exploration of humanity’s history, from the emergence of Homo sapiens to the present, challenging conventional narratives with fresh insights and perspectives.