BANGKOK — “A Little Prince” was hiding at BTS Siam. A “Cat in the Rain” was discovered at BTS Sala Daeng. Look around yourself and you might find a free, hidden reading gem.
Fairies hid copies of these books and more in public places this past weekend as a local launch of The Book Fairies project, an international initiative in which people leave texts for others to discover in cities around the world. After readers finish a book, they are supposed to pass it on to others.
One of the Bangkok book fairies said she learned about the book-drop project a few days before attending Saturday’s TedxBangkok. At the event held inside the KBank Siam Pic-Ganesha Theatre, she sneakily dropped five copies of best-selling memoir “Tuesdays with Morrie.”
“I was really excited for my first book drop, hiding one book at a time, mostly on breaks throughout the event,” said the woman, who only identified herself as Wannida. “I discreetly put them on the tables, on the seats in the auditorium, and a few other areas. Each book had a project sticker and a note explaining what it was.”
She was delighted to hear from one of her book beneficiaries a day later.
“Dear #bookfairies, I found this at #TEDxBangkok and took it home with me. I don’t know who you are but thank you for passing it on,” wrote Facebook user Awm Has Standards posted with a photo of the book.
“She seemed to be very happy to find the book and I literally screamed when I knew,” Wannida said.
Asked what kind of books she wants Thais to read more, the Bangkok book fairy said it would be literary publications for youths.
“This might sound strange, but I would love to recommend everyone to read English children’s books,” Wannida replied. “They are doors to creativity, language learning and life lessons. With or without pictures, the exciting stories for children always allow you to be free with your imagination and color them wild. They are also a good start for those who want to practice English.”
The Book Fairies campaign was originally launched March 8 on International Women’s Day. The campaign became world-famous when British activist and actress Emma Watson, best known as Hermione Granger in the “Harry Potter” film franchise, left copies of books with feminist themes around cities such as London, Paris and New York.
Enthusiastic readers can go in search of books or join the campaign through The Book Fairies Thailand and The Book Fairies Bangkok on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Book titles and locations will be announced via social media.