Scaryammi talks to Sana Waqar, founder of The Reading Nook to discuss how she is innovating book clubs and reading habits in the time of Covid-19.

What precautions are you taking for corona virus?

Personally I am strictly staying home. My kids are at home and we are taking social distancing very seriously. Handwashing and sanitizing for anyone who enters is a must. Professionally, all book clubs have been indefinitely suspended and the library is closed because I feel it is my responsibility, above anything else to ensure the safety of my students.

How did it occur to you to change the classes online?

Hosting the Book Clubs in these times could be catastrophic and it was only wise of us to shift to another medium. Schools in Lahore are off for another 3 weeks and students need all the more intellectual stimulation to keep calm and keep away from electronic media and PlayStations. Reading will give them a good hobby and like I always say, it will take them places right inside the comfort of their homes!

What are the effects of corona on your business?

Corona has hit all businesses pretty hard. Work has come to a standstill and distance learning is a new concept in Pakistan. I want to reach out to the maximum number of kids in this time and because of that, we’ve kept all our distance learning programs free of charge out of goodwill. This means loss of revenue for us but desperate times call for desperate measures and at this time, our moral obligation supersedes any and all other motives

What are some of the concerns your readers have?

At this time, the primary concern is the swift delivery of all reading material to every child enrolled with us. To ensure things go smoothly, we are partnering with all bookstores and distributors in Pakistan to make faster deliveries so our readers can get their books faster.

Has online reading been successful?

We have had a tremendous response to the online book club/ readathon we are hosting. People from different parts of the country want to participate which is all the more special because we have come together for our kids, to keep them safe from the panic and provide them with a healthy distraction while things settle. It is still premature to state what the outcome of this will be but I am positive about it. Hard work and Goodwill are a stellar combination and we have both on our side so rest assured, Allah will ease our troubles.

Aymen Nadeem

About Aymen Nadeem

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