This week, we feature yet another
innovative initiative in the field of literacy, For the Love of Reading TT.
For the Love of Reading TT is a feel-good,
community centred project which started in April 2018 out of a real passion for
reading and sharing. We collect book donations and distribute them to our ten
book corners in various parts of Trinidad. Anyone can pick up one or two books
for free – no strings attached.
We have shared over 40,000 books to date
and touched thousands of people from all walks of life. At the book corners we
hear things like “Free books!”, “Are they really free?”, “I’m choosing one for
my aunt”, “Where can I find a book for my nephew?”, “Can I donate some books
next time?”, “I haven’t seen this book since I was in primary school!”, and
occasionally “I’ve been looking for this book all over the place!”.
The business-owners who host our book
corners have recounted some heart-warming stories too. We have seen the joy in
the faces of young children who are told that they can choose any book they
want. Some people who lost their belongings in the floods of 2019 became
regular visitors to one nearby book corner. Another customer was a homeless
person who borrowed a wartime book each time he visited and would read and
return it before borrowing another.
The businesses that host our book corners
are all aligned with our concept of community spirit, of giving freely and
without judgement. We feel strongly that books should be accessible to all,
whether it is to develop literacy skills as a child or adult, or for a seasoned
reader to simply enjoy a good book.
It has been inspiring to see that people
have been consistently willing to give; we have had a constant supply of
donated books since we started more than three years ago. It reassures us that
the idea of selfless sharing does exist. It is exactly for this reason that we
say “no strings attached”. People can take a book for free with no need to give
another in return. They can keep it for themselves, pass it on to someone else
when they are done, or return it to the bookshelf.
For the Love of Reading TT was founded by
Najmie Khan – volunteer ALTA teacher and reading enthusiast – who enlisted the
help of her daughter Aara. We are assisted by a small group of volunteers who
help to clean and sort incoming donations before the books are placed on the
shelves. We are always in need of more volunteers to help sort and clean books,
and manage book corners. Get in touch with us on Facebook or Instagram if you
would like to get involved!
You can also help out by donating books at
any of our book corners. We appreciate all book donations, whether it is one
book or a hundred. People donate all types of books – novels, non-fiction,
textbooks, children’s books, cookbooks, and more. We are always especially excited
when we receive donations of local literature too, which disappear quickly once
we put them on the bookshelves.
If you would like to donate books, you can drop them
off at any of our ten locations – it feels good to do good! The listing of all
book corner locations is available on social media pages, or at