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Bookworm News Oct. 2011



Dear everyone,


Greetings from Phrao, Chiangmai. This is Yoshimi at Always Reading Caravan.

Yes, it has been such a long time since I wrote to you about the progress of ARC. I am so embarrassed about it, and feel so bad about it. There is no excuse that I can make, but I promise that you will hear from us more often after this.


I am happy to tell you that I have so much to tell you regarding ARC. Actually, it ended up to be rather long letter… So please sit back and enjoy!






Chapter 1. Flood in Thailand

Chapter 2. Our Partner in Suphanburi: A Flower of Library in Blossom

Chapter 3. Projects in Chiangmai

Chapter 4. Projects in Bangkok

Chapter 5. Picture books/Kamishibai Translation Project

Chapter 6. Social Media and ARC

Chapter 7. Introduction of ARC Members





Chapter 1. Flood in Thailand


You might be worried about us as Thailand has been hit by the worst flood in half a century. At the moment, 26 out of 77 provinces have been affected. Over 300 people lost their lives, and 2.4 million people have been affected by the disaster.


Water is reaching Bangkok slowly but steadily. I am not in Bangkok, but have to go back in 10 days time before going back to Japan briefly. I hope that the road between Chiangmai and Bangkok will be still accessible by then…


Fortunately, up to now, nobody at ARC has been affected by the disaster. Our partners in Suphanburi and Chiangmai are also unaffected. All the books for our Bangkok projects are in my apartment, but it’s on the second floor, so there is no need to worry. I assure you that all books are kept safe and dry!


Please pray for us so that water will go back to where it belongs. If possible, please make a donation to support flood relief.


The Thai Red Cross is accepting donations as they continue working in 34 provinces to provide fresh water, hot meals, medical help, and rescue services to victims of the flood.


The Bangkok Post has also put out a list of public and private groups accepting donations, including the Prime Minister’s Office and the Rajaprajanugroh Foundation.





Chapter 2. Our partner in Suphanburi: A flower of library in blossom


Since last year, we have conducted several mobile library activities in Suphanburi Province in Central Thailand. This has been one of the most successful library sites as we have a local partner in the village itself.


Aj. Wiboon is a Thai teacher at a local high school. She and her husband have a piece of land full of beautiful trees and cozy houses. Her long-term dream has been to open a small community library at home to encourage people in the village to read more and freely. So when I met her by coincidence and told her about the concept of ARC, she immediately offered us to open weekend library activity at her home itself!


See pictures of our activities here:


Activity in Mar. 2011



Activity in Oct. 2011



After our latest activity at her place, she wrote to me via Facebook:

“We are in the school holiday now, and many kids keep coming to borrow books from here. They also make record of borrowed books nicely. Our dream may really come true, Yoshi!”
ARC is so happy to see our first seed of library, beginning to grow to be a beautiful flower in the community. Thank you, Aj. Wiboon, brothers and sisters in the village, and all the small bookworms there! And we thank you, friends and supporters around the world, for making this happen.






Chapter 3. Projects in Chiangmai


We have started our permanent service in this area in collaboration with Warm Heart Foundation.



We will hire a full-time paid staff as project assistant, and start the following projects:

      Motorbike library: a mobile library on a motorbike for children in and around Huai Sai village, Mae Pang Subdistrict, Phrao District, Chiangmai Province. We are in the process of needs study, and are hoping to kick-start our library within a month. We have set up a station for our mobile library at the children home at Warm Heart Foundation. It’s a small rice barn with raised floor, and it’s a perfect place to relax, read, and take a nap too!! You can see its photo here…



      Preparatory school for Akha children: a pre-primary school on the mountain for children from Akha tribe in Sip-lang village, Monlan Mountain, Wiang-pa-pao District, Chiangmai Province. You can see the village view from here:



We are going to start this project in December with construction of small schoolhouse out of mud, straw, grass, and bamboo. Very excited to send you the progress later on!




Chapter 4. Projects in Bangkok


In this area, we have been conducting weekend mobile libraries and small story-telling activities with volunteers. From now on, this area will be concentrating more on administrative and PR-related work. Some of the activities that will be covered are:

      Fundraising: We will conduct various activities (e.g. book bazaar) to raise fund.

      Media coverage: We will take interviews to raise awareness towards the public.

      Delivery story-telling: Small groups of volunteers visits organizations/individuals who are in need of readers, such as elderly, persons with disabilities, hospitalized patients, etc.

      Weekend mobile library: We visit communities with committed partners and conduct 2-3 day activities to encourage reading. We will start from the community in Suphanburi Province, as this will be our official land of registration.


At the moment, activities must slow down due to the flooding, but hopefully life will be back to normal in a month or so…




Chapter 5. Picture books/kamishibai translation Project


We have over 30 volunteer translators around Thailand and beyond, willing to translate English/Japanese picture books into Thai. Then, we will use them in our activities both in Central and Northern Thailand.


There are a lot of quality picture books in Thai language, but we are looking for the following type of books (new or gently used) in English or Japanese.

      Tactile books (books that children can touch and feel)

      Pop-up books (durable ones, if possible)

      Folktales from around the world (except for well-known ones such as Isop, Grimm, Andersen, etc.)

      Picture books based on lives of children around the world (wars and conflicts, poverty, adventure, disease, etc.)

      Kamishibai (Japanese-style picture slides for story-telling)


Please send them to my apartment in Bangkok, and then I will distribute them to volunteer translators. (Please see my signature below for my postal address.)


* As we will be physically cutting and pasting the translated text onto original text in the picture books, kindly select books with less text. For instance, literature for young adults with tiny illustration for each chapter would be too difficult to be translated. If you are interested in contributing into this project in any way, please feel free to contact me.




Chapter 6. Social media and ARC


We now have a Facebook page, Twitter account, and Youtube channel. Please come back to check regularly for update.
















Chapter 7. Introduction of ARC members


Please watch this Youtube video to see some of our core members working closely with me, mainly in Bangkok area. Excuse me, the video is in Japanese, but we put detailed description in English too.







Thank you for reading all the way through. I hope to stay in touch with you more regularly so that you don’t have to read such a long story in months!


Last but not least, all staff at ARC appreciates your continuous support. Children are our future, and we do want to help open their window into the world through reading, but all the activities would not have been possible without your support. We would be very happy if you could spread the words about us to your friends and colleagues so that we can reach out to more potential bookworms here in Thailand. Here are some ways that you can join our caravan.


1. Monetary Donation:
We are currently in the process of registration as an official organization in Thailand. In the meantime, please use the following bank account. This account is to be used only for ARC activities.

Account Holder: Yoshimi Horiuchi
Bank name: Thai Military Bank
Branch: Arkhaan Yada (Yaka Building) Silom branch
Bank No.: Saving Account 232-204-9202

2. Books Donation:
Please send any type of new or gently-used books (except for textbooks) to the following address. We will use the books for children in our activities, and other books will be sold to raise fund for ARC.

Ms. Yoshimi Horiuchi
Urai Apartment 209
70 Krungthonburi Rd, Soi 4
Banglamphulang, Khlongsan,
Bangkok 10600

If you are near Chiangmai or would like to donate books for children in particular, please send them to the following address. It will be used mainly for children from various hill tribes in Phrao, Chiangmai.

Yoshimi Horiuchi
c/o Warm Heart PO Box 8
T. Wiang, A. Phrao, Chiangmai 50190

3. Volunteers:
Wherever you are, whatever you are good at, we are always happy to welcome you as our volunteer. If you are interested, please send your inquiry first. If you already know what you would like to do, please send your CV directly.
Email: volunteer@alwaysreadingcaravan.org
Our director, Yoshimi Horiuchi, can be reached at
in Thai, English, or Japanese.





Yoshimi Horiuchi

Director/Founder, Always Reading Caravan (ARC)

Urai Apartment 209

70 Krungthonburi Rd, Soi 4, Banglamphulang, Khlongsan, Bangkok 10600 THAILAND

Email: yoshimi.horiuchi@gmail.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/yoshimiarc

Twitter: www.twitter.com/yoshimiarc

Mobile in Thailand: (+66) 83-542-7283




Spontaneous Story-telling in Suphanburi Province

On Oct. 30-31, I visited a village in Suphanburi province again, to get to know this community a bit more, and to talk about what this village and ARC can do together.


I got on the shared wagon (rot-tuu) from Victory Monument. It took around 2 hours to reach the Khao Shang Mak Temple, where Aj. Wiboon, the bookworm of the community came to pick me up with 2 nieces of hers.


Aj. Wiboon welcomed me warmly and we had a nice and cozy dinner over her homemade tamarind nam-prik and fried fish. Her house is located near a canal, and surrounded by many trees. I enjoyed much fresher air compared to that of Bangkok, and the chorus of little insects all around. The songs of crickets mingled with voices of frogs always make me miss home.


After dinner, the little girls and her friends who came to stay there came peeping at me. I knew it. They saw me carrying 3 enormous books that I carried all the way from Queen Sirikit Convention Center in Bangkok, and couldn’t wait till opening them.


So the time they usually watch TV turned into spontaneous story-telling time. We all enjoyed reading from the beautiful picture books, and they brought out their own books afterwards. It’s funny that reading stories to each other brings up a totally new side of the book. Of course, reading by oneself is fun too, but to share it with friends and family is something different.


After kids were put into bed, Aj. Wiboon and I taled a bit about our reading activity. She wants to open two rooms of her house to be made into public library in the village: one room for storing books, and another for reading room. Luckily, her house is located just between two villages, so we can invite children from both communities. I also shared ARC’s wish to include all kids, including those with disabilities, and she agreed to work with public health centers to ask for information about children with disabilities. Just before we were about to collapse out of sleepiness, we decided to work on our first trial mobile library activity in December. She generously offered to let volunteers stay at her house, and promised any necessary assistance.


Next morning, we hurriedly ate some rice soup for breakfast, packed up, and went altogether to the nearby temple. The children really enjoyed the ride at the back of the track. They were screaming like anything every time the car makes a thrilling twists and turns.


As we reached the temple, people were already gathered around, chanting. So we sneaked in, and the kids and I got to introduce ourselves after the chanting. It’s a small community temple, and they seem to get together quite regularly. Totally different from those gorgeous-looking temples were tourists often go. We had a very nice lunch there with all the vegetarian dishes that each person brought from home, and here it comes again, the spontaneous story-telling.


It was even more fun this time because we had more children. And there was P’Nuch, a very lively story-teller. Children were so eager to read each line that they even started to reserve their favorite pages 🙂 I asked Aj. Wiboon to videotape it, and it will be soon available for you to watch on Youtube.


What I feel great about this village is that there are so many community members who are willing to help us. P’Nuch, the story-teller, happens to be a master-graduate from Silapakorn University, and majored in ceramic art. She promised to help when ARC goes back to do the caravan activity in December. There is another powerful leader, Uncle Pan-yaa, who has lived in the village for decades. He said he will tell local folk tales and legends in the community. How lucky we are to find such a perfect village!


Anyone in Thailand and wants to join us on our caravan in December in this village, you are most welcome na! Please write to us at


I will make sure to come back and tell you how the caravan went in December…