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Passion for books leads to library of 2 lakh books in Andhra Pradesh’s Guntur

Former Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu looking at the books during his visit to the Annamayya Library (Pic. Courtesy Twitter/@VPIndia)

Lanka Suryanarayana’s love for reading has helped to establish Guntur’s well-known Annamayya Library which boasts of a collection of 2 lakhs books on varied subjects. What is truly amazing is that this 88-year-old retired Government employee continues to collect books.

The passion for reading was triggered in him as a young boy when he was introduced to the translated novels of Sarat Chandra Chatterjee, the famous Bengali writer. Recalling the incident, he said this led to collecting a few assorted books which then finally led to this huge collection, which includes paper cuttings and other printed material.

The library boasts of 4,000 dictionaries and encyclopaedias, 6,000 autobiographies, books and compilations of various genres besides complete works of Telugu literary figures including Sri Sri, Kutumba Rao, Suryadevara Sanjiv Dev, Muppala Ranganayakamma, Viswantha Satyanarayana, Narla Venkateswara Rao, and Devulapalli Krishna Sastry.

Apart from this, the library has 800 translations and commentaries on Bhagavad Gita; 99 translations of Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore’s “Gitanjali” and 1,400 translations and commentaries of Ramayana. Among the assorted collection includes 3,000-odd paintings, 50 types of old magazines and literary works on music.

Going beyond collecting books, Suryanarayana who retired from the Customs and Central Excise Department also donates books to schools and other libraries.

All the money, effort and time spent on collecting books, including travelling hundreds of kilometres, does not tire him. On the contrary it brings him immense joy and happiness.

Among the dignitaries who have visited the library are retired justices and former Vice President, Venkaiah Naidu. Acknowledging his contribution to the society, Suryanarayana has been awarded the Vishisht Seva Medal.