What’s better than sipping a cuppa of hot steaming coffee while flipping over the pages of a book by your favourite author? A bibliophile will agree that books and coffee are a match made in heaven.
With everybody looking for a cosy nook, book cafés have become a popular trend, a part of pop culture. Along with the rest of the country, Aizawl too joined the bandwagon where bibliophiles can gather and discuss literature over a cup of coffee and some soft music.
Aizawl, the picturesque capital of Mizoram, got its first-ever book café last month. The Book Café is located in the heart of the city at Hrangbana House, a shopping complex in Chanmari.
“The idea behind opening the book café was solely to revive the reading culture in Mizoram. There is an altogether different charm of going to a book store, smelling the pages, getting lost in the words,” said Vanlalruata Ralte, the owner of ‘The Book Café’.
The venture was Ralte’s ‘long-cherished’ dream for around a decade. He was helped by his brothers and sister to give a shape to his dream. “We grew up reading books. Our parents would always encourage us to read more; language was no bar. My father would buy second-hand books for us. Similarly, we want to encourage the youths of Mizoram to take up reading books which got lost due to the advent of technology,” he shared.
A voracious reader himself, Ralte said that the café will also promote the books by the promising local writers. “I worked in a call centre, North Eastern Council, Life Insurance Company but I always wanted to open a simple book shop. Later, I thought of opening a book café as Aizawl doesn’t have any. This café houses books by Sidney Sheldon to Khushwant Singh and from Agatha Christie to Barack Obama. We have books written by local writers too but the majority of the books are in English,” he added.
The smell of freshly-brewed coffee and freshly-baked cookies, muffins greet you as you enter the room. The small room has been converted into a double-storey set up to make way for more books and readers. Comfortable tables, benches and couches are placed meticulously.
“You can also enjoy a glass of lassi and fresh fruit juice in our café. We are setting up another room just for reading sessions. We plan to have an open mic, poetry-reading sessions too. We want the youth to come here, relax and have a good time,” Ralte said.
It’s weekend and there are several ways to find an escape from the monotonous hustle-bustle of city life. Opting for binge-reading with a freshly brewed coffee is not a bad idea. What say?
Image source: Vanlalruata Ralte