Gone are the days when libraries and book clubs held stacks of dusty books. The internet has changed all that. As elsewhere in the world, Bengalureans are also abandoning some of their reading traditions and adopting new ones. Online libraries and book clubs are gaining ground in the city. Young people turn to their computers or phones to read material and say it comes more naturally to them than walking to a library or book club down the street.
The Facebook group –‘Broke Bibliophiles – Bangalore Chapter (BBB)– is a community that meets monthly to talk about books. And he just turned one.
Radhika Chauhan, who co-founded it with Abhiram, said, “It was extremely successful, and we were lucky to connect with readers from all walks of life from 18 to 40. We got to know so many wonderful authors, especially the locals,” she says.
“Digital book clubs allow people to connect and discuss books without geographic barriers, and there’s nothing better than a community that shares the same love of reading as you do,” she says.
Members meet once a month over coffee to discuss the books they have read. Online discussions and book reviews are also part of the activities. These clubs also offer deals on books available online. So viola, you can browse titles or chat about books while you relax on your couch.
“We started an online group ‘The Reading Racoons Library’ to introduce children to literature because most parents don’t know what they want their children to read,” explains Tanushree Singh, its founder. She then launched the ‘Senior Reading Racoons’ and the response was tremendous. The community is international. People connect through the group and participate in activities. Offline, we also have a participatory library,” she says.
“Whenever new people come in, they have no idea that these books are available on our site. Also, people are trading books offline. There are also activities that people are doing on their own. The digital revolution has made all of this possible,” she says.
Online book clubs bring people together and help them form and express opinions. “In a world obsessed with the instant gratification of social media, it’s refreshing to have a community that loves to sit down and read. Needless to say, it’s become a family, and ironically enough, it’s a community brought together by the digital revolution,” adds Radhika.
how they work
Broke Bibliophiles Bangalore:
You become a member by joining their Facebook group. They usually schedule meetings for the second or third weekend of each month. Once the date, place and time are decided, they create an event on the page and share the details.
Senior Reading Raccoons:
You submit a request and answer questions about yourself and your preferences.