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Ting-tong, a library on doorstep
- Jharkhand cities click to IndiaReads, an online rental service for books

Suffering from space crunch in a tiny flat and don’t know where to keep books? Or suffering from a cash crunch that doesn’t let you buy as many books as you want to?

Now, if shelf space is too small and credit card bills too big to allow buying books from stores or e-stores, Jharkhand readers in Ranchi, Jamshedpur, Dhanbad and Bokaro can log on to IndiaReads.

IndiaReads, based in Noida, started in 2009 as a live online library with the objective of making books easily available to everyone across the country. The company started offering its services in Jharkhand a couple of months ago, the website making the concept of e-commerce pocket-friendly for bibliophiles in the four cities of the state where not too many public libraries are available. Members of IndiaReads can choose from over a lakh titles, order books they want on their doorstep, read and return them.

The home delivery system works like, say, Flipkart or Amazon. The only difference is that the delivery man comes to the member’s home to take books back as well.

“We started the online library service in Jharkhand a couple of months ago and the response is encouraging. We have a pan-Indian presence in some 500 cities. People are loving the concept,” said Aman Sharma, marketing manager at IndiaReads.

He listed out the advantages of becoming a member.

“IndiaReads ticks all the right checkboxes. We have a wide range of books, including the latest titles. Renting a book is more convenient than buying it. And we save people the hassle and time of commuting to libraries. Here, members can choose, bring and return books at a click of a mouse,” Sharma said.

The website www.indiareads.com is comprehensive and user-friendly. One can choose one’s membership type based on the kind of reader one is — occasional, casual, regular and avid — and select membership fees accordingly, starting at Rs 360 for three months.

Delivery is done within two business days. Once a reader finishes a book and orders afresh, the old book or books is/are picked up.

“The minimum amount of time you can keep the book is for a month and the maximum is for a year, depending on the plan that you register for. It is a very comfortable, hassle-free process. Everybody need not necessarily want to buy every book that one wants to read. We are the right option in this case,” Sharma said.

The trend is catching on. Ravina Sharma, an English honours student of Jamshedpur Women’s College, sounded most enthusiastic about IndiaReads. “It’s an amazing idea. As a literature student, I’d love to read a plethora of books, but many are beyond my budget. IndiaReads is a great option. Books on rent will be lighter on the pocket and a month’s time is enough to complete a book,” she said.

Are you a member of IndiaReads yet? Tell ttkhand@abpmail.com