Situated at an elevation of 1, 132 meters above sea level, Aizawl, the capital city of Mizoram gets the city’s first ever book café. It is located in the centre of the city, at the Hrangbana building in Chanmari. Vanlalruata Ralte, one of the owners of Book Café says, ‘The idea of starting a book café has been on my mind from 2007, but I was held back due to financial challenges and other drawbacks including finding an ideal location.’
The venture is a partnership between three brothers, Vanlalhruaia, Vanlalruata and Lalhmunsiama. The brothers say their main aim is to revive the reading culture in Mizoram. The café is adorned with paintings and shiny wooden tables and chairs.
‘Due to technological developments, the youth today have lost touch with the value of the reading culture and we want to bring it back,’ says Vanlalhruaia. ‘When we came up with the idea, we discussed it with our friends and got a very good response. A lot of people came forward saying they have always wished to see such a café in Mizoram, and this really encouraged us.’
The brothers also hope that it will provide the Mizo youth a form of entertainment that helps them relax, without the need of intoxicants, considering that substance abuse is one of the major challenges in the Mizo society.
Vanlalruata mentioned that the café will also sell books by local writers, creating a platform to promote them as well as encouraging more youth to take up reading habits. He added that after a few months, they will regularly organise poetry-reading events.