The lockdown doesn’t stop the love for Books

While a lot of activities came to a standstill during Covid-19, the Bookworm Trust in Panjim came up with activities to keep nurturing their love for books. NT GoGoaNow finds out what they have been up to.

Here are some of the long-distance activities the Bookworm team has been doing during the lockdown (as shared by Anandita Rao):


About Stories 

Like the fish that is not aware of the water, in our day to day work, we rarely pause to think about stories. The lockdown enabled us to offer an in-house workshop on the role of stories in our lives, the relationship with stories that affect our response to stories and the nature of stories. We read, discussed, reflected and kept Sujata busy with finding creative ways to get the entire team engaged in online mode. 


Saturday Games 

Every Saturday for the past month, we worked in small groups to participate in Games that involved Bookworm's richest resource, the collection. Teams that had good readers did better than others but always there was the spirit of fun and camaraderie present. Games included scavenger hunts from books, cryptic clues for decoding a mystery message, crosswords and search and finds. 


Stitching in Isolation 

Stitching is an honoured act at Bookworm with that of reading. Every team member was requested to stitch with some constraints and some intimate representations emerged. 


Book Talks 

The act of sharing Book Talks is a very practised skill at Bookworm. Accessing the internet to upload and share proved to be arduous for many of us. However, a nice archive of different kinds of Book Talks was shared which will be used for programs at Bookworm to teach and learn. 


Book Reviews 

Our super mentor Usha Mukunda guided us with a refreshing idea around Book Reviews. We worked on books that we did not particularly enjoy and used the act of writing to uncover surprised or reinforce ideas that were more instinctive initially. All of us who participated know that our writing, reading and thinking skills were enhanced by the close and loving attention of a super mentor. 


Paired Discussions

The Bookworm team worked in pairs to select a text that was read by the larger team and analyzed and discussed over online spaces. In the process, many of us read and reflected on selections we never have engaged with. We also had opportunity for dialogue and reflection that have never presented themselves to us in this way in the past and the richness of learning from and with each other will sustain us. 


Censorship Challenge

As an exercise in challenging our own personal biases and thoughts, in groups, we discussed a set of picture books that have been challenged or banned for varied reasons. In the intergroup sharing that followed, we discussed the different critical lenses through which a book could be looked at and unearthed an awareness of our own personal reasons why we might be discomforted by a book.


Anandita also shared that the Bookworm library is open for lending and returning of books, keeping social distancing norms in mind.