With e-books and Kindle in place, even the most avid readers seem to have taken a step back when it comes to paperback books. Reasons? Comparatively high costs, storage space requirements and problems in disposing off the collection. Bangalore based barter.li is one such app that caters to these problems of the bibliophiles.
This three month old startup is the brainchild of IIT Delhi graduate Prasun Jain and his team viz. Surendar Marudhachalam, Vinay Shenoy, Anshul Kamboj, and Shreyas Joshi. It is a community-based Android app aimed at letting people exchange books with people around them.
It is a place where one find like minded bibliophiles to meet up and then share, sell and barter books.
The main aim of the founders is to build a platform where people with similar interests in books can communicate with each other all around the world. It’s a mobile only app and the founders have no plans to expanding it to the desktop. “We want to create a global community with whose help we will create a library in every corner of the world, access to which you can carry around in your pocket,” said Prasun.
After downloading the app, the users can catalog their books (either manually or by scanning the barcodes) in the app and see which ones others have listed in. The app also asks for Facebook or Google sign up. Once the book is listed, it showcases the list of nearby locations wherein the owner can meet with the interested buyers. Upon finding a suitable owner, they can have a private chat within the app itself, meet up at a convenient location and buy/sell/exchange their books.
At present, the app carries a rating of 4.7/5 on the play store. However, it has suffered a failure on the Indiegogo crowd sourcing platform, raising only 7% of the targeted USD 20,000. The founders do not find at present any competition for them. However, overcoming the local markets in cities which have shops selling used books at cheap prices, could come as a challenge. And also, people might not always be comfortable meeting strangers they have met over an app. Nonetheless, a great concept for those who love to read and can’t live without books.
To download the app, one can click here