By VINITA Singh
Nearly 100 years old Oxford Bookstore, true to its story of being ’much more than a bookstore’, has launched several Social Media events and activities like Author Recommends, Book Readings and LIVE Workshops on the official Facebook Page, to keep the readers engaged and boost up the morale during this pandemic lock down. The innovative initiatives have received tremendous response from international author like Andrew Sean Greer and renowned personalities like Shrabani Basu and Naseeruddin Shah. It has reached out to global readers and held them together through their common love for books.To observe the World Health Day on 7th April , the bookstore is hosting book-reading sessions with Shabri Prasad Singh (Borderline) and Devika Das (The Mind Game) highlighting the importance of mental and physical health, a topic relevant to the current situation. The Book Reading Series will be hosting authors like Anuja Chandramouli (Ganga, Prithviraj Chauhan etc.) , Sourabh Mukherjee (The Sinners, Colours of Passion), Rajat Chaudhuri (translated Hemendra Kumar Roy’s Calcutta Nights), Vishes Kothari (Timeless Tales from Marwar), Nita Bajoria (Urban Chronicles) who read out excerpts from their books. Keeping in mind reader’s interest, Oxford Bookstore has initiated the Author Recommends series where writers and eminent personalities like Andrew Sean Greer, Shrabani Basu, Manu Pillai, David Davidar, Naseeruddin Shah , Ananya Bajpeyi , Kavita Kane, Prajwal Parajuly, Saikat Majumdar, Namita Gokhale, Shutapa Paul, Shahenshah Mirza, and Koel Purie, have listed their top picks for the readers. Recommendations of noted editors like David Davidar (Aleph), Priya Kapoor (Roli Books), and younger ones like Esha Chatterjee (BEE Books) and Trisha Niyogi (Niyogi Books) have made a mark with the readers.
Oxford Bookstore is also curating workshops of various kinds – storytelling, art, poetry, dance – in their Oxford Bookstore LIVE section available on the official Facebook Page, to reduce the distance between the audience and the facilitator. Priyanka Chatterjee, Storyteller and Founder of Wild Strawberry and Joie Bose, Poet and Founder of Poetry Paradigm have conducted workshops for children on real time storytelling and reading and writing poetry, respectively. Sohini Roy Choudhury, Dancer and Founder, Sohini Moksha is all set to connect to the audience through storytelling and dance on 7th April 2020.Other than these, the Bookstore also curated Lockdown Reading lists with mini reviews. These have been made keeping in mind the diverse interest areas of readers and have included thrillers, autobiographies, ghost stories, cookbooks and more. The other engaging additions include book bingo, fun book posters, music sessions on bhajan, ghazal and others.