My heart leapt with joy when I first spotted the mobile library bus parked near my apartment in Motithang yesterday. Instantaneously, I ran into the bus and was filled with boundless happiness to see over a thousand books inside the bus, in the book shelves. It has mostly children books, but also has books for adults like that of novels and self-help and management books.
I was so very excited that I called those children playing around the park and road to visit the mobile library. As they entered the bus, they expressed their shock at what they have witnessed. Wonderful books inside the bus, oh. For them too, it’s simply unbelievable. They jumped, happiness spiraled in them.
We were 20 in about a dozen of minutes, nestling in different corners and shelves, browsing and reading books. All the readers were young, except me. Along with them, this group of young readers, I picked up a book and read excitedly.
When they read, how sweet, their eyes sparkled and their faces glowed in a smile of joy. They savoured great pleasures from reading the books and expressed constant amazement as they opened every new page. It gave me a rejuvenated feeling. So I walked around and talked to them. I befriended them, each one.
The bus left, but we stayed back there, still talking. You know what we have so much to talk about, so many things in common. My new found young friends - the friends made through the mobile library bus, the books – are all ardent readers of books.
We exchanged a small talk and there I discovered that we share similar passion and thoughts – that we read books, we buy them, and we love the fragrance of books. We celebrate books because we are the lovers of stories, lovers of words. Above all, we protect books.
Again and again we promised to meet next time, at the same place, in the same library bus. We departed, so grateful, for we found new book lovers, the book friends through this wonderful initiative of Thimphu Thromde and Save the Children.
For your information, this mobile library bus travels to Changedaphu, Motithang Children Park, Centenary Park, Police Camp, Serbithang, Olakha, Lungtenphug and Taba Army Camp on the weekends. The bus is manned by the staff of Jigme Dorji Wangchuck Public Library and donated by Save the Children. It also provides membership: Nu 100 for adults; Nu 50 for children and students.