In today’s world of Kindles and e-books, two engineering students from Army Institute of Technology, Pune, Vishal Singh and Aditya Singh, started an initiative early this year to make books easily available and accessible to all.
The initiative, Tilted Books, provides physical books on rent in Pune at Rs 5/day – which the two say is the cheapest all over the world.
“People can lend their own books that they have with them to us and we pay them 30% of the amount we earn by lending their books to someone else,” said Vishal. “I started ‘Tilted Books’ in February 2020 and eventually Aditya [Singh] joined me. We operated till March 10 owing to the nationwide lockdown, but we resumed our services in June.”
While explaining the motive behind starting the initiative, Vishal said, “We can easily access any e-book free of cost. However, it doesn’t feel as satisfying as it does when we have a physical book in hand. Besides, if a college student has to spend Rs 400 on a book, he/she/they would think twice. Instead, if given a choice, they would rather prefer reading two books for Rs 40/50. So through this initiative, we basically want to make books cheaply available to everyone.”
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Tilted books provides fiction, non-fiction, autobiographies, biographies for Rs 5/day. The customer is supposed to keep the book for a minimum of eight days. This amount subsequently drops down to Rs 2/day on the completion of 20 days of possession.
It also deals with educational books – school/college books, examination related books/materials etc – at Rs 3/day and the customer is supposed to keep it for 14 days at least.
Vishal and Aditya never purchase any books and instead operate like e-commerce websites such as Zomato/Swiggy that act as a bridge between customers and sellers.
“We have collaborated with four private libraries in Pune. We borrow books from there and deposit the Amazon price of the same as a mortgage. When their books start making money, we pay them 30% of the total amount earned and subsequently return their books in exchange for the mortgage money,” said Vishal.
“We also encourage individuals to lend their books to us in exchange for 30% of the total amount earned. We store these books in our warehouse and lend them to people as and when required. So, people can actually earn from their spare books which is a kind of investment,” he added.
For now, this is only for people living in Pune, but the duo wish to expand the venture in other cities as well.
“I feel that the initiative has a lot of scope as we are providing people with utmost comfort (by delivering books at their doorsteps) without having to pay much,” said Vaishal.
You can reach out to them at Tilted Books
All images provided by Vishal Singh.