If there is one thing I am sincerely thankful to God for, it is the fact that my daughter Anusha is a voracious reader. I meet a lot of people who bemoan the fact that their children don’t read and they don’t know what to do to encourage the habit of reading in a child. Great leaders have often been seen to be voracious readers.
Let me lay out some facts (rather widely accepted opinion) here.(in no particular order)
- If you force children to read, they will start hating it.
- Put them in reading classes, it becomes curriculum. Anything that is curriculum, is uncool and is boring
- Many children look at parents who read, as role models and develop the habit of reading. But if you as a parent, don’t read, then how does one nudge the child towards developing the habit of reading.
- If the passion for reading is developed at a young age, it stays with you for life.
- Parents often don’t know which book to buy for children and go by current trends.
- Bookstores, sadly, don’t stock Children’s books the way they used to. A number of wonderful written books don’t even make it to the book shelves. Hence they never get seen and picked up.
- A number of brilliant Indian authors who write for children, don’t get their place in the sun.
- World over, Childrens books is one of the largest and fastest growing categories. In India, while it is growing, it is not growing at the same pace as the number of children who can read/write. In other words, there is growth in absolute numbers, but degrowth in terms of relative growth vis-a-vis the target market.
This has been one area I am passionate about and have always wanted to do something in this space. So I got together with a couple of other like minded friends (Sangram Surve who heads a marketing agency Think Why Not and his wife Shalini who is also a wonderfully creative mind) and Enchantico was born.
Enchantico is everything that the children books ecosystem in India lacks. Aimed at putting the fun back into reading for the kids. It presents books to children in a cool and fun manner so that they take to reading without any coercion. For those who do read, Enchantico provides them with exposure to specially curated age appropriate books that they would not have picked up in the normal course, thereby broadening their horizon and of course, their choices.
To become a member of the Enchantico ecosystem, you have to subscribe to it. 3, 6 and 12 month subscriptions to the Enchantico box are currently available. Once you pay the subscription fee, every month, on a pre decided date, your child will get an Enchantico box gift-wrapped and delivered at your doorstep. Each box will contain a minimum of two books, specially designed book related activities and a host of other cool collectibles that your child will love. The books are curated by a special team which is led by Lubaina Bandookwala, who is an institution in the world of childrens books. These books are curated from the domestic and international lists of all the key publishers. (over 50% of the books that we look at, you won’t even find in book stores – for book stores just don’t stock the entire range of childrens books). The activities that go into the box are designed by our in house team, keeping in mind the lead book in the box.
To see what went in our August Box, click here ENCHANTICO BOXES – AUGUST
We will also be building the entire ecosystem around the world of books and authors. Literature festivals special targeted at children, author interaction/talks in schools, publisher engagement, contests etc are just a few of the things that we plan to do, to get children to savour the world of books and reading.
The core objective of Enchantico though is to get Children to discover something new each time they get an Enchantico Box and to put the fun back into reading.
Am really thankful to the host of publishers who have come forward to support us in this initiative.
Together lets make the world a better and well read place.