“Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers” – Charles William Eliot.
Who can deny this power a book have? Every book opens a new horizon, challenges the mind, and teaches you new things about others, about your own self, about the past, present and future. With a book you can fly in time, live the lives of many characters, experience emotions, learn about different cultures. Books make you discover new realities, stimulate your thinking and your vocabulary, develop and increase your sense of empathy, fosters your imagination and creativity.
We want to see as many young Albanians reading; we want to see youngsters spending more time reading, rather than playing with their smartphone in a cafe. We would love “reading be the new trend” of our generation. We believe that by having youngsters who read today, we will have a better tomorrow.
We believe that reading is a crucial element for development. That is why the U.S. Embassy Youth Council Albania decided to join the national campaign of the Ministry of Culture “Meet for a book” and their open call to build creative mini-libraries. In fact, the US Embassy Youth Council decided not to take part in the competition announced by the Ministry of Culture for mini-libraries, but decided to be the first to provide a model with this regard.
Our goal was to create a corner where nature combined with reading, and create a special place for all lovers of reading and nature. However, the idea of creating a mini-library outdoors, encountered lots of resistance at the beginning. The greatest resistance was the fear that it would have been destroyed overnight, the fear that it would have books would be stolen or tore apart the very next day of the activity etc. However, we decided to put aside all these fears, replacing them with the hope that the community will display a responsible and protective behavior for the public good. We wanted to challenge our prejudices and also challenge the community we live to preserve what is in the good interests of all.
Together with the new architect Klaudia Llupo, we started to design and achieve a reading corner that would be attractive and accessible to anyone of any age.
The Youth Council of the US Embassy volunteers established their first mini-library, located in the Artificial Lake Tirana, just passing the amphitheater and named it the “Bookworm”. This angle was created with materials that do not harm nature, such as wood, straw, tents, pallets or old tires, which we reused in the form of swings or benches, tents or small houses as book shelters.
A great help in establishing “Bookworm” was given by the Parks and Recreation Agency, which gave us all the technical and logistical support for the creation of the reading corner.
We wish that all people can enjoy this reading corner and that such initiatives can increase in Tirana and all Albania.
Happy reading everyone!