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Inside “The Gifts of Reading Anthology” – Essays on the Joys of Reading, Giving and Receiving Books

December 21, 2021

Volunteers and Chapters

News Copy with Callout 1 Watch the recording of the event

On December 1st, 2021, Room to Read’s Paris Chapter hosted a virtual literary event celebrating “The Gifts of Reading” -- a collection of essays written by renowned writers from across the world with a shared passion for the power of books. “The Gifts of Reading” is available in bookstores or online. All royalties from the book are generously donated to Room to Read.

Attending from 8 different countries, event guests were able to hear directly from treasured authors William Boyd, Dina Nayeri and Max Porter for a virtual literary discussion as they shared their stories of the joys of reading, giving and receiving books, and reflected on how books can become lifelines.  The event was moderated by Room to Read founder, John Wood, who also contributed an essay to the anthology, and started with inspiring remarks from the book’s curator and long-term Room to Read supporter Jennie Orchard.

Generously benefiting Room to Read’s Literacy and Girls’ Education Programs, this event also featured special guests: Adam Biles, Literacy Director of long-time supporter Shakespeare and Company; Geetha Murali, CEO of Room to Read; and Christabel Pinto, Senior Director of Room to Read’s Global Literacy Program.


Hear from the speakers:

John Wood, Room to Read Founder & Author: “The only thing I can think of that is better than giving a book to a friend is to give millions of them – all brightly-colored and in their mother tongue – to kids who would otherwise not have the opportunity to learn the joy of reading.” 



Jennie Orchard, Curator of “The Gifts of Reading” & Room to Read Supporter: “At the time when the world is facing unimaginable challenges, we need to hold on hard to the integrity and the inspiration of the writers, the artists and other creative people in our lives. Reading and rereading this smorgasbord of essays has given me so much pleasure, sent me back down many memory lanes of the literary variety but also propelled me into uncharted territory.”


Geetha Murali, Room to Read CEO: The Gifts of Reading’ is a timeless and beautiful book. . . a perfect match for our message of reading as a game-changer”.