A mobile pop-up library to promote reading experiences for underprivileged children in HK.
Reading for children in underprivileged households is not as accessible as it seems. Moreover, partly because some children may find reading boring. This discourages them from gaining knowledge through reading and thus hinders their growth for upward mobility.
Rolling Books aims to promote reading experience by bringing interactive and engaging reading activities to underprivileged children in Hong Kong. The concept of mobile pop-up libraries and events offer an equal opportunity to enrich their knowledge sustainably through reading and learning. Quality second-hand books will also be collected and offered for free or at a very affordable price.
James Chong, founder of Rolling Books, had a rich experience running a bookstore in the past. When James first applied for Good Seed funding in 2018, he was focused on the idea of renting a van which serves as a mobile library all throughout the city. He began to simulate his idea at a school playground one afternoon, and quickly encountered a big challenge.
Teachers as an important stakeholder wasn’t providing much feedback. James decided to do a little experiment, and held simultaneous reading activities – one in the auditorium, and one with the van at the playground. The response from the auditorium events were much more engaging due to the space that allowed it, and though the van was decorated, it wasn’t a big hit.
On that summer afternoon, James was inspired from a pushcart that served bar drinks. He took this inspiration and decided to create a replica but for instead for books.
After his experience at the school, James decided to utilize the money he was awarded from Good Seed to create a pushcart. The more research he did, the more he realized that a cart is much more accessible, flexible and cost-effective than a van. This mobile cart is adaptable and can go anywhere and take space anywhere. People are no long restricted from the small space in the back of the van, but was able to utilize the open space and encourages more to join in.
Once the pushcart was finalized, Rolling Books was ready for adventures. Over the next 12 months, James took the pushcart all over rural communities in Hong Kong. Rolling Books collaborated with 10 schools, reached 1,827 children in poverty, and distributed 1,200 second-hand books to low-income families. Since 2018, Rolling Books created impact through giving second-hand quality books to asylum-seeking families, raised awareness on reading, built trust and practiced social inclusion through tutoring and storytelling with ethnic minority families.