SUNDAY, April 21, 2024
nationthailand

Philippine home-turned-library hopes to inspire reading

Philippine home-turned-library hopes to inspire reading

Just outside of Manila's bustling business district, a local bibliophile has transformed his house into a space that allows people to indulge in one of his lifelong passions -- reading.

"My mission is to give away used and donated books to others at no cost and to promote education through literature,” said 72-year-old Hernando Guanlao, seated inside his two-story wooden house where thousands of second-hand books line makeshift shelves and are stacked in the hallways.

What started more than two decades ago as a 50-book display on the sidewalk, Guanlao's collection has grown exponentially over the years thanks to a steady supply of books from donors.

His community library, dubbed the 'Reading Club 2000,' showcases a wide variety of books in all genres that he hopes will inspire young minds at a time when reading comprehension among students in the country remain low.

Philippine students are facing learning setbacks with math, science and reading scores among the lowest in the world, according to the Program for International Student Assessment. A student assessment conducted by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) also ranked the Philippines 77th out of 81 participating countries globally.

Guanlao, nicknamed 'Mang Nanie' by people in his community, believes many children don’t have access to books because of the costs involved, and says many of those living in poverty consider education a luxury.

local book lover, Ron Castro, was on his way home from work when he stopped at the Reading Club 2000 to browse autobiographies and self-help books. He said he has been there three times after finding out about it through social media.

 

"This is a big help to the community and the public," said Castro, borrowing three new books.

Guanlao vows that as long as people come to him to borrow books and others continue to donate, he will continue for as long as he can.

Philippine home-turned-library hopes to inspire reading

Reuters

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