Spending thousands of rupees on textbooks every semester in college only to throw them away once the exams are over has now become a thing of the past. With textbuk.in, it is possible to rent a textbook instead of buying one and the best part: rental rates are dirt cheap. This ensures students no longer need to have empty wallets.
Textbuk.in is India’s first online textbook rental service. It was conceptualised by Sameer Tulpule and the late Vishal Sharma, who took a cue from their experience as students and eventually launched textbuk.in in January 2010 at Pune.
Tulpule says, “We used to spend most of our pocket money on textbooks that had little use once exams ended. Also, buying books is a waste of paper, especially when students can reuse them. The simplest solution to both these problems was a textbook rental service that is cheap and eco-friendly.”
Students can fill registration forms on the website to rent or sell their textbooks at www.textbuk.in/rent.html and www.textbuk.in/sell.html respectively.
Different schemes and membership plans are available for students to choose from, enabling them to acquire textbooks at almost a 60 per cent discount.
Books are even home delivered; students therefore experience inexpensive education, and feel great about it because they save paper.
A sapling is planted for every rental service!
“We need to take care of the environment — everyone needs to be concerned about paper conservation. We’re dealing with youth and that is the best platform to target. At textbuk.in we wanted to do something for the environment but reusability is not direct enough. So we decided to plant a tree in appreciation of every rental service,” says Tulpule on how textbuk.in has tied up with the NGO Tree Public Foundation that works with the Pune Municipal Corporation to plant trees around the city.
Eight people including Tulpule work at textbuk.in that currently functions in Pune and Nashik, renting textbooks for engineering and diploma degrees. Tulpule and team visit various colleges, and campaign on campuses to get students to register with the website in addition to an active social media presence and participation in local events.
Textbuk.in won the Manthan Award for e-inclusion presented by Digital Development Foundation in December 2011.
The website is out to brand itself as making education as simple as possible for the students, while encouraging them to be eco-friendly. Several new pocket-friendly schemes have been launched on the website.
“We want to be functional all around the country by the academic year 2013-14,” says Tulpule on his future plans.
Vishal Patil, a final-year student of engineering in computer science from MET College of Engineering, Nashik, says, “I used to sell my textbooks at half the rate. When they (textbuk.in) approached my college, I was in awe of the novel concept and signed up immediately. Now I get great prices and acquire academic books with little pressure on the wallet.