India’s First Walking Book Fair in Jaipur

Walking Book Fair in India? Yes, you heard it right! Books on Wheels! It might sound strange but one couple in India has been wheeling books around the country all for the cause of making books accessible to everyone and promoting book-reading habits in India. In 2014, Akshay & Shatabdi, a couple from Bhuneshwar, Orissa loaded books on a loading pick-up and took them to the Indian hinterlands. This is an area where books are not accessible to the public.

India’s first Walking Book Fair. Books on Wheels!

What started in Orissa turned into Pan India. They took their walking book fair to the bigger cities across India, on popular demand. During their visit to Jaipur, in February 2016, I met them at a cafe in the C-Scheme Jaipur. They had parked their truck outside a cafe for two full days so that people could visit and buy books in Jaipur.

Akshay and Shatabdi with their walking mobile shop. #walking book fair

Dressed in cool smart casual, the couple seemed quite motivated to promote the book-reading habit in India, despite the roadblocks they were facing. Akshay shared his views on books and his habit of book reading at length. He spoke about the lack of public libraries in India, the increasing digital footprint at the cost of book reading, and the financial issues they were facing in their journey. At the same time, he also spoke of the warm welcome extended by the people, wherever they went. Many people donated their book collections for promoting book reading in India. The discussion turned to the support extended by book publishing companies. They said that some companies do support them but the situation is far from the ideal. Ultimately, at the end of the day, things are not easy.

The walking book fair was in Jaipur at the invitation of the Jaipur Book lovers club. I met Vipul Murarka, one of the founders of the Jaipur Book Lovers Club. He was the local contact of the Walking Book Fair. Vipul informed me that Jaipur’s book lovers club is very active with membership in excess of 500 book lovers in Jaipur. They meet regularly on Sundays at cafes in Jaipur. In case you would like to join them, you can contact them through the Meetup page, Facebook page, or their website.

In case you would like to help Akshay and Shatabdi to further the cause of book reading, you can contact them directly. The contact details are mentioned in the picture below.


Here are links to their Facebook and Twitter accounts. Wishing Akshay and Shatabdi Good Luck on their journey!

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19 thoughts on “India’s First Walking Book Fair in Jaipur

    1. Som! Book lovers are a different breed… always in quest for something. Their dedication for this great cause made me write this story, so I can share it with rest of the world. 🙂


    1. Yes, I think their efforts need to be appreciated and shared with as many people as we can. if we can find some sponsors to help their cause, it’ll be awesome. Thanks for commenting.


    1. While I didn’t have much time to look around, it was a very short visit, they had books on variety of subjects, quite popular ones too…religion, fiction etc.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Really cool initiative. Here in Ukraine we have reading challange with postcrossing of books. I didn`t receive any yet, but I hope that soon at least one interesting book will arrive.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. It`s when you are making a post on Facebook and ask who wants a book from someone? People who will leave a comment under this note will get a postal address where they will need to send a book. Also they will publish the note about book exchange on their pages and someone who will leave a comment will get another address to send a book. The 3rd person in this line will send the book to the post author.

        Liked by 1 person

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