Chennai

12,000 books come knocking on your door

Radhika Krishnan started this venture seven years ago.   | Photo Credit: G_Krishnaswamy

Last year, on her birthday, Mrs. Raman received a thoughtful gift from her son — a membership with bookandborrow.com, an online lending library. Mrs. Raman has a huge appetite for books and this membership seems to go a long way towards satiating it.

She visits the library’s working space, located in Thiruvanmiyur, regularly and borrows two or three books each time.

“I have been a voracious reader ever since I could strings words together to make a sentence. As I’m not very familiar with the entire process of ordering a book online, I directly call Book and Borrow to block a particular book.

“I’m extremely happy with their overall service as the delivery is very prompt and they also have a wide variety of books to choose from,” says the 70-year-old, who particularly enjoys reading Jhumpha Lahiri and Radhika Jha.

This online platform allows its members to pick and choose from a selection of 12,000 books under various genres and languages, which include Tamil, English and Malayalam. Book and Borrow has only non-academic books, except for management books.

After registering online, readers can choose a plan from four standard options of light reader (one book), relaxed reader (two books), regular reader (three books) and voracious reader (four books) under either six-month or one-year package.

Suresh and Radhika Krishnan, a husband-and-wife duo, launched this venture seven years ago, to cater to ardent book lovers like themselves.

“After our children were born, there were added responsibilities on my shoulders and reading took a back seat in my life. I used to visit a local library near my house but most of the time, the book I wanted wouldn’t be available. There was also the issue of finding a parking space for my car. These experiences led me to create this online platform for book lovers,” says Radhika Krishnan, a passionate cook and baker who loves reading books of Lee Child and Ashwin Sanghi.

The library has managed to capture the attention of the elderly who find it difficult to physically visit a library.

“I used to be a regular at the Connemara library as that was the only place where I could find Bengali novels. However, due to my age, I was finding it impossible to climb up stairs and walk down to the library. This was when my son introduced me to Book and Borrow.

Even if they don’t have the book I want, they would purchase it and deliver it to my home. Now I’m ecstatic to be surrounded by half a dozen books all the time,” says a 70-year- old resident of Egmore, who has been a subscriber for the last five years.

The highlight of Book and Borrow is their free home delivery and pick-up system. As part of this, it has geographically-divided teams delivering books to all those parts of the city that fall within the Greater Chennai Corporation limits.

“One of our aims was to break the usual constraining factors associated with lending libraries such as limitations due dates and late-return fines. And, we wanted to create a convenient solution for readers in which the library comes to them rather they being expected to go to the library.

“As we don’t have the concept of due date and late fees, readers can have a book as long as they want to. Initially, the main challenge we faced was to find out the books in popular demand,” says Suresh, co-founder of bookandborrow.com.

For details, call 99404 36470, 95001 83437.


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Printable version | Jun 17, 2021 9:45:48 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/12000-books-come-knocking-on-your-door/article17174674.ece

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