June 3, 2023
Pune: In a unique initiative, three women have started a silent reading community called ‘Pune reads’ at Kamala Nehru Park off Bhandarkar Road in Pune on Saturday. The initiative will encourage people to read and relax amidst nature.
Speaking about the initiative Ayush Yembarwar, an avid reader and a WordPress developer said, “A few months back, I was in Bengaluru and there is a similar reading community over there called ‘Cubbon Reads’. So, I loved the initiative. When I came back to Pune, a friend of mine told me about this community. So, being an avid reader myself, I came here and joined this community. The community can help a lot of people start reading or get back into the habit of reading as it provides a comfortable and relaxing space without any compulsions.”
Sonal Dharmadhikari, Aditi Kapadi & Aditi Chauhan, curators of Pune Reads, gave more insights about the entire initiative “Some of our friends in Bengaluru told us about this initiative. We wanted to start the initiative in Pune as well. So, they told us that we can start an initiative called Pune Reads here. Hence, we discussed it for about a week before finalizing a space and timing. We are proud that it commenced today.”
They further added,” We decided to start it in a park because we wanted to make it an open and relaxing activity. We have sat and read in closed places like cafes, libraries etc. My experience with enclosed spaces is people get distracted by other things. Thus, parks are seen as open and free spaces. So, by seeing other people silently read, more people would come and start reading themselves. That’s the whole idea.”
On getting an overwhelming response on the first day itself, they said, ” In just two weeks we have started this community. Now, even if it is the first day, we are very glad to see such an amazing response as people from other suburbs of Pune like Kharadi have come. People also want such a community on the weekends just to get a break from their daily lives, be relaxed and enjoy reading. We are hopeful that similar initiatives will soon begin in other parts of the city.”
“We do not put any restrictions about what to read. The concept behind reading silently is for people to not disturb others while reading. There is no time restriction as well,” they said.
“People are finding it very interesting and peaceful. We do not feel the need to promote it by any other means as people will spread the word in their communities and circles. So, a lot of mouth publicity will happen,” they further added.
For now, this community has been started only for the weekends but in future, based on people’s liking, it will continue on other days as well. Hence, Punekars, get ready to come forth and start reading by joining this community every Saturday at Kamla Nehru Park between 8 am to 11 am.