Friday, 24 February 2012

bookshelf... an initiative

"They hide the books in the library."
"Hmmm... Hiding books in a library? I couldn't have thought of that."
"Seriously yaar. Waise to novels milengi nahi. Aur kisi ko milti bhi hai to wahin kisi kone mein chupa ke rakh dete hain."

In an year or so I had realised that to think of library as anything more than a channel for TBLS will be like too much of an optimistic view. It has its pluses in form of reading room, macs, photocopy and not to forget couples (for couples is what i mean) but that's about it.

So I, along with a few friends decided to do something about it. In our third sem (July-Aug 2011), we made a pool of our books and decided to buy a few more so as to have a good collection and bookshelf was born in Rajiv. Through it people can rent out books they would like to read at low prices. It is a steal for fast readers and we're working on making it one for average readers as well.

The response was not through the roof but a lot of people were interested and started using bookshelf. It was nice showing to people that many books and talking about reading on each visit. Being around books and the power, or rather excuse to buy whatever we wanted had its own perks(watch out for more posts) and was quite liberating (remember all the times you wanted to buy a book but couldn't because of its cost or because your list was too big).

It was somewhat of a business plan but the cost of books compared to anything was so much that i'd rather not try to think how its going to be profitable any time soon. Most of the money that comes our way (not only from bookshelf) gets reinvested in books. This factor is not a burden though. I would gladly spend my money on buying a book rather than anything else but having a good excuse for the splurging helps.

In the past few months we have learnt a lot and are continuously working on new ways and iterating the old ones to make it better for you guys, making a good community emerging as an important contender. We have been a bit shy to promote outside Rajiv (a factor which somewhat comes from my DNA) or market it aggressively and it has seen its share of negligence from my part. But all that is going to change. Every other person who pops out of nowhere to use bookshelf compels me to work further on it.

I am not sure how many people will be reading this.(apart from all you whom i have pestered to) but i'd like to hear what you think. And if you love reading you are awesome. (I know, i know. It doesn't make sense or fit with the flow but i couldn't help it.)

More on later posts.