The Readers’ Web™, is an initiative of 26×7®, a start up based in Cochin, which was developed by a trio of Casey Nestor Fernandez, Mellwyn Joseph and Romana Correya, through 26×7®, they aim to Promote the Joys of Reading among all. The Readers’ Web™, is a Home Reading Service wherein we deliver books home to our members which is the the first of its kind in Cochin, let alone the whole State.
Cochin square managed to meet up with them and had an interesting chat.Here are the details of the conversation.
CochinSquare : What does the name 26×7 mean?
The Readers’ Web: Well, everyone knows what 24×7 means right? It says 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Well our name is 26×7®; 26 is the number of letters in the English alphabet and 7 is the number of days in a week. Hence, 26×7® says “Reading all the time”!
Through our service, members can log into our site at www.TheReadersWeb.com and browse through the numerous collection of book titles we hold and place a request to read them. After processing the request, we deliver them to the customer’s preferred destination. When they are done with the books, they can select the next set of books and we deliver them and pick up the ones they are done with. They don’t have to worry about negotiating traffic, late dues etc.
CochinSquare : No Late dues?!
The Readers’ Web : Yes, we do not charge late dues except in extreme cases. We agree that fining a library member is an effective way of ensuring that they return the books on time. But we also realized that this encourages a large number of readers from picking up certain books. We decided that we would try a method by which we would not charge late dues but would remind the members about the duration of time they have borrowed the books and give them reminders for its due return. The main aim of The Readers’ Web is to get people to read and we hope that this would go a long way in encouraging the people of Cochin to take up reading more seriously.
CochinSquare: Who are the founders of The Readers Web and how it was conceived?
The Readers’ Web : The Readers’ Web™ is the first of our initiatives where we aim to Promote the Joys of reading. When I was working with a MNC in Delhi, I used to frequent the British Council Library and the Indo American Library. They are two of the best libraries in the country. But they too had short comings in their functioning.
After about a year’s discussions and six months of field work, me Casey, Mellwyn and Romana decided to go with this venture among the many others we had thought of. All of us are passionate about reading and used to spend a lot of time reading and still do. Romana was the ex-president of the AIESEC, Kochi local chapter, an International student run NGO and Mellwyn is currently working with a MNC in Mumbai having recently completed his MBA from LIBA in Chennai.
CochinSquare: How to subscribe to The Readers’ Web and pricing?
The Readers’ Web : That’s easy. Log onto our website at www.TheReadersWeb.com and sign up. We have two plans. One which lets you read 4 books a month and the other 6 books a month with two deliveries every month in both plans. Let me just say that if you compare our costs with the various private lending libraries in the city, we definitely score better. Actually, to be fair, we cannot be compared with any other library in the city because the service we offer are given by none in Cochin let alone the whole State of Kerala.
After signing up, the members can browse through the book titles we hold and place request to read them. And we deliver them to their homes or offices depending on their availability. We do hold multiple copies of the popular titles. We do have a one-time registration and caution deposit charge and then the annual membership charges with different plans according to one’s reading tastes. Currently we have a light reader plan and a family plan. Do visit our website to see our pricing details.
CochinSquare: What are the types of books that we can get at the moment?
The Readers’ Web :We hold book titles from all genres with us. Currently we hold books in the English language. We are in the process of collecting books to add to our Malayalam book titles. We have an active book suggestion system where we entertain every suggestion from our members and strive to ensure that our customers get to read what they want.
CochinSquare: How is the payment made?
The Readers’ Web : Although most of us use the internet often and extensively, there is still a general apprehension about online payment modes. Granted this is changing but we decided to make it easier for all of us; the payment can be made at the time of the first delivery.
- What else can we expect from this initiative?
The Readers’ Web : Am glad you asked that! We have a unique customer engagement plan. Every month we select at least one member from our library and invite them to join our team to select some books for adding to the collection in the library. They get to spend an evening in a bookshop selecting books for us without them having to pay for it! We have already done this once and the experience was amazing for all of us. At the end of the evening, we thank the chosen library member and hand over a surprise gift for their effort and helping us choose books for the library.
CochinSquare: But isn’t reading on the decline? Why did you start something like this when less people are reading?
The Readers’ Web : Which is exactly why we are starting this service. Think about it; what are the excuses for not reading? “I do not have the time to visit the library”, “The late dues are eating into my pocket ”, or “I am too tired to visit the library today”. Well what we have done is solved all this in one stroke! Now the people in Cochin have no more excuses for not reading 🙂
CochinSquare: Who to contact for more information on this initiative?
The Readers’ Web : One can visit our website at www.TheReadersWeb.com or mail us at read@26×7.com . We can also be reached on +91 9567 389 267. Do get in touch with us and we would be more than happy to help.
So what do you guys think about this new initiative towards enhancement of reading in Kochi?? Please let us know through comments.