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Updated: March 23, 2014 01:35 IST
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A new app seeks to establish a two-way relationship between authors and their ever-increasing ranks of readers

Sometimes, just as you finish reading a story or a book, you feel an urgent need to say something about it – rate it, or maybe post a comment.

But where would you do it and how would you know the author saw it?

Aiming to establish a direct connection between authors and their readers, Notion Press, a self-publishing company, is launching a mobile app next month that will allow readers to rate and review stories they read on the platform.

“Many young people now prefer reading on their mobile devices. With this app, readers can log in using their Facebook IDs and read any of the creative content available on our platform. They can follow an author, get notifications from him or her about new stories and rate the stories they like. Later, we will also make recommendations depending upon the reader’s choice of genre,” says Naveen V., executive director of the company.

Notion Press, which works with 27,000 authors across the country, intends to target the youth in small towns in and around metros with its app. “Smartphones have penetrated well into small towns, and our analyses show that desi romances, for instance, are very popular,” he adds.

The app will be available both on Apple and Android platforms.

Sandhya Sridhar, a city resident and avid reader, says she follows short stories published by Notion Press. “Rating something you read is lots of fun. It gives the reader a sense of participating in the process, and pulls the reader in. So, even someone who is not very fond of reading can get drawn in,” she adds.

***

There has to be something inspiring about shouldering one’s own pack and separating oneself from television sets, social media, and the crowd. Maybe that is why 34-year-old Krishnamurthy Ramkumar, an advertising professional, makes it a point to go backpacking to new locations, at least once a year.

‘Surreal’ is the word he uses to describe his trip to Leh. “Sarchu in the Himalayas, where we ended our 10-day road trip, was the best spot.

For a city dweller, having to stay and sleep amid mountains was simply beautiful,” says the travel enthusiast who starts making backpacking plans three months in advance and takes friends along. He sets aside money every year for this.

There are many others who believe backpacking is therapeutic. It is a test of stamina and skill. Backpackers here feel it is important to prepare oneself for a trip and then, judge how far and fast you travel. Of late, many B-schools have made backpacking part of their curriculum because it brings out leadership skills in an individual and tests her ability to survive in emergency situations.

“The rule is to start early to reach early so that you are not stuck in between mountains. And also, to fill your petrol tank whenever you sight a pump, and pitch a tent near a river. A fully-charged phone with GPS is your best companion," says R. Guna, an IT professional who has gone backpacking to the Himalayas thrice over the last four years.

(Reporting by Zubeda Hamid and Vasudha Venugopal)

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