HYDERABAD: Barter system may have come to an end long ago, but books lovers are trying to keep it alive. Their love for books and the urge to read an epic novel that is not available in the market anymore is what has brought up the idea of exchanging books among book lovers.
Understanding this need of readers, cultural spaces in the city have come up with the concept of holding book swapping sessions. One among them is Our Sacred Space which hosted its first book swapping session on Sunday. Nayantara Nandakumar, founder says, “Swapping those books read by us not only makes the other person feel happy about receiving that book they were looking for, but also helps us get rid of clutter at home and replacing them with the books that are useful. One book is read by more than one person that saves the number of copies that are being printed, thereby saving trees,” she says, adding that she has created a small corner at Our Sacred Space for those who want to leave old books and pick up something they would like to read. One can walk in anytime and get the book of their kind.
Jatin Kuberker, who debuted with his book ‘While I Was Waiting’ also participates in book swapping sessions. He feels that participating in such sessions helps him meet many book lovers under one roof and understand what kind of books they like to read. “As I recently ventured into writing, it’s important for me to get acquainted with various styles of writing and knowing what kind of writing is appreciated. This is where book swapping sessions help. I also get to read books written by various authors in the process.”
This, doesn’t just happen offline. The virtual world is also being considered a good platform for these sessions. One is Nivedita who shares details of her blog that was started in 2012. “I upload the cover page of the book and a few lines about it. Anyone who wants to borrow the book has to fill in a form given on the blog. I courier the book to them. I think any book is a powerhouse of knowledge and I am just spreading this knowledge among people through the book,” she says. She shares hard copied of books and also e-books.
While formal meets for swapping books is a trend that is just catching up, informal book swapping sessions were always there.
Aalekhya Tadepalli, a student of University of Hyderabad says, “I have been swapping books with my friends for the past four to five years. Being a student, I am not in a position to buy each and every book. This is when I decided to swap books. We discuss about books among friends, get to know what others are reading and that triggers our interest.”
Following the tradition of conducting book swapping sessions, Treasure House, another cultural space that is shifting to Nishrinkala Dance Academy will be holding a book swapping session on December 6. Preeti Raghunath, PhD scholar at University of Hyderabad, one of the coordinators of the session says, “The practice helps one increase their knowledge about authors, kinds of books present in the market and also increases the urge to read more books. There are a few good books which might not have received good visibility due to various reasons. People also get to know about, such books here.”