15-year-old American-Armenian boy installs free book boxes across Armenia

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 15:57, 6 July 2022

GYUMRI, JULY 6, ARMENPRESS. At the initiative and direct support of Levon Alyanakyan, 15, who was born and grew up in the United States, free book boxes have been installed in Armenian town of Vedi, Gyumri city and rural settlements of Shirak province.

Everyone can use the book box for free, take a book, read it and then return back to the same or other book box.

Levon says his goal is to spread the culture of the famous Little Free Library also in Armenia, by promoting the book exchange and reading.

“The idea came when I saw a little free book box near our house in Laguna Hills, California. I took a book and thought it’s a good idea that could be implemented in Armenia, especially in provinces where books are expensive and the libraries are few. With this initiative I want the youth of Armenia to have an opportunity to read and be educated. The libraries should be available to all”, he said, adding that they started the initiative in Vedi where 7 book boxes were installed, then they moved to Shirak province, Gyumri and the rural communities of the province.

“A lot of people have books at home which they have already read. They can bring these books to the box and take another one instead for reading. We hope it will serve its goal, the boxes will be supplemented by new books which will have many readers. I think if a person likes this box, he/she will bring 10 or 20 books. I hope the boxes will always be full of books”, Levon said.

The 15-year-old American-Armenian is regularly visiting Armenia. “I love traveling and geography a lot, I have visited 45 countries. This is my 12th visit to Armenia. I have been in villages and liked them a lot. I like reading as well, especially historical, geographical books. Of course, I also read fiction, Saroyan is my favorite author”, he said.

The boxes contain different types of books – fiction, professional, in Armenian, Russian, English and French depending on their location.

The next station of Levon’s initiative is Lori province. A total of 30 book boxes are expected to be installed in Ararat, Lori and Shirak provinces, and 23 are already installed.

Fundraising was carried out for implementing this initiative in Armenia and each book box has its sponsor family.

Reporting by Armenuhi Mkhoyan