If yes, log on to the Internet. There's a new library in town that delivers books to your doorstep

T.R. Srinivasan spent most of his working life in sales and marketing, and he never had enough time to read as much as he wanted to. Things changed after he retired. He did get that much-needed time but he was unable to make trips to libraries to borrow books. Then he chanced upon a pamphlet about ‘The ilovereadin Library' (ILR), a new online lending library in the city. He became a member and now Srinivasan borrows at least one book every day. He requests the book over phone and in a day or two it is delivered to his door step. “In every way, this is convenient for me. I would call this a service and not a business proposition.”

ILR was started in Chennai in 2009 by two IIT graduates, Amrutash Misra and Sahil Gore, to promote the habit of reading. In August 2011, Coimbatore-based Anitha Mohanraj came across an article about 100 new start-ups in the country, one of which was ILR. “The idea of ordering books online and getting them delivered at one's door step was novel,” says Anitha. Anitha, who had always desired to have a library of her own, wanted to get a feel of how Coimbatore would react to an online library. Along with her husband, she conducted a survey at a book fair in the city. “We realised that the market was open to our idea of a virtual library. ”

Anitha took up a franchise of ILR in Coimbatore. Within two and half months, she was provided the necessary technical training and the library was stocked with books, most of them sourced from her personal collection. On December 23, 2011, the ILR website was up and running. And in January 2012, the library became fully functional. As of now they have around 60 members.

How does it work?

ILR provides a convenient platform for the members to borrow and return books. The website (www.iloveread.in)allows the user to view the list of books available at the library. A member can order two books at a time online, and they will be delivered within two days. The library procures books for members on request. “We aren't limited to the catalogue. We generally observe our members' reading patterns and also suggest books to them,” says Anitha. Ramya, a housewife, regularly suggests books for the library. “Every time a new book comes in to the market, I write to Anitha and she immediately gets it for me.”

Anitha says her love for books started as a kid. “I studied at Breeks School in Ooty and I owe my love for books to Sarah's Lending Library there. As kids, we would visit the private library and pick up books almost every day. We never borrowed books from our school library because there were too many rules.” Being married to another book lover, she and her husband scoured the city for libraries, but found most of them had books that they had already read. That was when Anitha and her husband started buying books and building up their personal collection.

In the past three months, Anitha has added 300 books per month to the library. A huge collection of children's books are also available at ILR. She says, “We plan to have special programmes for book lovers such as book discussions, etc. We also intend on starting a book club and a reading room for our members.”

Get booked:

The ilovereadin library allows you to borrow an unlimited number of books for as low as Rs. 200 per month. Special discounts are available for students and packages are available for corporate customers. For details write to cbe@iloveread.in or call: 90039-52002/0422-6471647.