New Delhi: An online
library that also offers a pick-up and drop facility for books,
getting to browse through various language newspapers at one site,
or mastering the intricacies of math and science at the click of a
mouse - welcome to the exciting world of e-books that beckons at
the Delhi Book Fair.
The Sep 1-9 Delhi Book Fair is focussing this year on e-books and
e-publishing, and visitors at the fair can now purchase books
The online library hookedonbook.com offers readers thousands of
titles to choose from and also provides pickup and drop of the
Another site, readwhere.com, allows readers to browse through
their choice of newspapers, comics and magazines and one can also
purchase digitized books online.
Both these e-sites are another innovative venture -
meritnation.com - that provides online teaching material to
students from Classes 1-12. The online tutorial has simply written
texts, videos and cartoons to make the chapters easy, as well as
weekly tests and a forum for asking questions.
Vikram Khosla, the owner of hookedonbook.com, said he has 40,000
titles in his collection.
"Subscribers can browse through the collection and list their 10
preferred titles. We will get their top favourite book delivered
at their doorstep," Khosla told IANS.
Once the person has finished reading, a call or a mail to the site
will get a man to pick up the book. "While coming to pick up the
book our man will bring along the next book in the subscribers'
list," added Khosla.
How will they ensure books remain in good condition?
"Our books will be checked and the subscriber will be asked to
sign on a slip of paper before the book is given to him."
The rates begin from a starter plan of Rs.200 a month, for two
books per month, and goes up to Rs.1,000 per month for unlimited
number of books to be rented in a month.
Khosla said he hit upon the idea when his daughters, who used to
frequent libraries in the US, "started buying books after coming
to India and realized there are very few libraries here".
Those living outside Delhi can also subscribe.
Their books will be couriered by Fedex, he added.
Khosla is also planning to set up leisure reading rooms in south
Delhi's Saket area soon, equipped "with bean bags, soft music, and
light coffee - where people, including kids, can spend hours
enjoying the reading experience".
The online tutorials site, meritnation.com, is a venture by
"We provide all study material online, including through visuals
and diagrams," Priti Vajpayee, an official of the site, told IANS.
Students can also post their queries online and an expert answers
"We also host live tests so that students are well prepared," said
Vajpayee, adding the site gets "7,000 sign-ins a day".
The e-tutorials cost Rs.2,200 for a year for two subjects, while a
package of all the subjects costs Rs.4,500 a year. Tutorials for
attempting the IIT-JEE engineering exams cost Rs.14,000 a year.
Another interesting site - readwhere.com - offers readers a whole
array of vernacular language newspapers, magazines and comics.
It also allows booksellers to go for e-publishing of their books
and has an online bookstore from which readers can order books
"Ours is a free site where readers can access newspapers and
magazines," said Arun Nair, an official for the managers of the
"Our focus is getting various language newspapers. We sell e-books
too," Nair told IANS.
He said the site had developed a software that would prevent
copying of paid content. "An e-book can be accessed by the buyer
but not downloaded," said Nair.
The buyer can save the e-book in an app memory, which could be
accessed without any internet even while travelling.
(Ranjana Narayan can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)