Bookcentric: Reinventing Libraries

by Rummana Ferdous Fagun | Published: 22:06, Jul 12,2018

 
 

BOOKS are the treasure chest of the imaginary world that provides a sweet escape from the mundane everyday life. However, not everyone feels the need to collect books since reading them once might suffice. This is where Bookcentric comes in. It is a one of a kind online library which brings to your doorstep a wide array of books from all genres that might not be easily available or too expensive to collect.
Two friends, Mehvish Zaidi who is a lawyer by profession and Tasneem Tambawala, a businessperson, started Bookcentric on September17, 2017. While explaining the origin of the name, Tasneem explained, ‘Books are the centre of our world’. Seeing how difficult it is to come across good books in Dhaka they decided to offer their personal collection for people to borrow. They have been adding to that collection in hundreds since they started. ‘We want to give readers access to all kinds of books, new and old, for an affordable price,’ says Tasneem. Also, in the maddening Dhaka traffic, offering a delivery service only made it easier for the members to enjoy the books.

There are subscription plans for both adults and children depending on the number of books you want to borrow throughout a month. For example, in the Bookster plan you can take one book at a time and at best two books per month for a fee of Tk 400 monthly or Tk 2,200 half-yearly or Tk 4,300 yearly. You have to keep a security deposit of Tk 1,000 to Tk 2,000 (specified per subscription plan) which is refundable upon cancellation. The delivery charge is Tk 60 per delivery and free for Booknerd and Bookzila subscriptions. Moreover, there are subscription plans suitable for everyone.
The venture has been welcomed and encouraged by people from all walks of life. Their youngest member is a 2-year-old and the eldest a 70-year-old. According to the Bookcentric team, it is still the beginning for them as they intend to take Bookcentric much further. Since the concept of borrowing books and having them delivered at your doorstep is relatively new, people seemed to be a bit skeptical at first, so it took some time for the whole idea to sink in. Another big problem is book-piracy but they are slowly overcoming this obstacle as they have gained a considerable number of subscribers that is still growing.
They arrange or take part in various events too. You might spot Bookcentric in events like Dhaka Lit Fest, Eco fair, etc. throughout the city. Once a month, they host Library Days and children’s story-telling sessions at Gourmet Bazar Banani where books are on display and anyone is welcome to visit and browse through their collection or simply sit and read a book while enjoying a cup of coffee.
Other than these there is a reading challenge which is open to everyone, members and non-members; it is called the Bookcentric 2018 Reading Challenge. Those participating are required to read a book from the category for that particular month. The readers then need to post reviews of the book they have read in the Facebook group of Bookcentric. This is to encourage people to read more and diversify their reading palette.
To subscribe or take part in their events, please visit: https://www.facebook.com/bookcentric/

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