If a writer loves something more than writing, it is reading. I am no stranger to that feeling. Hailing from a small city with minimal people interested in English novels and fiction, in general, I had not many options for buying books, until, I learned about online books but still, the books were so costly that I could not afford as many as I would have liked.
In such a scenario, a group like, Book Deals for Broke Bibliophiles (a term I proudly own up to) was like seeing the light on a cloudy grey day! But that was not enough. It gets better – they are not just giving me book deals, but an opportunity talk about the books I have read – if you have deeply loved a book, or maybe, even liked it, you must know the desperation to vent about it.
Even before I got to buy any books from the tempting deals they were offering – the theme of communities redefining the world came up and I knew I wanted to talk about them.
Books are the greatest weapon. So, if there is a change that is to be brought about it will be through literature.
So, I talked to two awesome and willing people of the community – Pragya Mishra and Nirav Mehta and got to know more about the community and how they have been contributing to the society through books!
The community was found in December 2014 by Broke Bibliophile. As a bibliophile, the founder spent a great deal of time looking up book deals on several e-commerce websites. They realized that if you look enough, you’d find many deals that would give you books at a significantly less price. Also, the realization was there that not many people sieve through the deals so much. Thus, this incredible person decided to do that for others, offering bibliophiles the cheapest deals available on trusted websites, with affiliate commission of 6-8%.
To quote Broke Bibliophile, “Why to affiliate commission, some of you might ask. Just another incentive to keep me going and dissuade me from doing those crappy time-return calculations whenever I feel guilty about spending too much time on the group. I invest most of whatever little I get into FB ads, App, Server costs etc. The commission hasn’t made me rich, but after FB Ad costs etc, I have saved for buying 4-5 box sets in one year! Thanks to you all for the same.”
Of course, now I was extremely curious to know who exactly this person was? I mean, there was clearly not a great deal of money into this – but here is this person who continues to do it. Well, Pragya Mishra stopped me from continuing to ponder on the vein of thought, “Broke is a genderless, ageless entity who prefers to be anonymous. People have different theories about Broke. Some say Broke is a man, for some a woman. Whoever Broke is, he/she is a much-loved person for all of us.”
I needed to know the goals of this community, and it was simple:
“The main goal of the community is to bring like minded broke bibliophiles under one roof ( A virtual roof that is). Anyone who connects with books is welcomed. Be it reading them, discussing them or buying them at discounted prices. Books need to be the centre of your universe, the nucleus of your life to avail membership of this growing community of broken head bibliophiles.”
Presently, this community has over 14000 members online. And since April, they have started to create an offline base with several willing members, who meet up fortnightly discuss all things books.
So, how exactly are they re-defining the society?
We unite the 14,000+ members from all over the nation with their unashamed admiration and affection for books. No book is bad enough to be not read. Developing the habit of reading and buying of books need not be an expensive hobby as most believe it to be.
All you need to have is a thirst to read. There are various avenues which can be explored for affordable books. Apart from carefully curated deals, the community also talks about places where used books can be bought, book swaps have been organized and people advised by Broke about places in their cities for inexpensive book buying.
Each member of the community brings immense love for books to the platform. As I said it may have started as a place to buy discounted books but has metamorphosis into space which honours everything related to books. Not just avid readers, the people who are beginning to comprehend the fascinating world of books finds this place to be extremely conducive to carry forward their acquaintanceship to books into a full blown passionate affair. Inculcating a passion for reading in people and sustaining that passion is what this community is doing.
Imagine a community of 14,000 people talking about books all the time! It is such a pleasure not to interact with one or two people who share your interest but thousands that talk the lingua franka of a bibliophile.
The virtual community started meeting its members in each city in April this year. It wasn’t short of a revolution where people whom you have never met before in your life come together and bond over books and book talk. It was as if a magic wand has been spun to let the book lovers come out of the woods and meet each other.”
The book meets have taken place in Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Noida, Pune and the list is growing.
To quote Nirav Mehta, “You need to have a willing group around, and you can have your own meetup.”
In the end, what are the objectives are of the community? Where do you see yourself in the future?
“The objective of the community is simple – to bring together like-minded individuals with a shared interest in books so that they have a space to connect with each other. The Delhi chapter is in its infancy now, we have just started. However with the number of people who are showing interest in joining the Delhi Chapter, both as volunteers to plan the meet and as participants makes me feel confident that if we continue with the same enthusiasm and commitment, we would one day carve a niche for ourselves. (We already have. People are blogging about us, contacting us for exploring partnerships and collaboration)”
Image Sources: Book Deals For Broke Bibliophiles