Bookbhook to transform reading habit of Indians

Bookbhook is a platform which summarises books into short 10-15 minutes reading time summaries, that you can read or listen to. In an interaction with Deccan Herald's N V Vijayakumar, Bookbhook Founder Gaurav Gupta how the idea of Gaurav Gupta is conceived and how is taking forward his mission of reading a habit in Indian society. 

How did you conceptulise the idea?

When Alvin Toffler popularised the term information overload in his 1970 book Future Shock, there was no indication that the information overload will be a reality, a little over 40 years later. Today, 300 hours of video is uploaded on YouTube every minute (Source). Netflix viewers consume 140 million hours of video every day (Source). Paradoxically, as more content is being generated, attention is becoming scarcer. Infact, the world is moving towards Attention Economy where companies compete with each other to get the viewer’s (increasingly scarcer) attention. In the attention economy, it is attention which is the currency.

People are increasingly looking for solutions that help them get a job done faster, especially if the job requires complete attention. Reading books is an example. With streaming video content easily available, the millennials are spending more of their leisure time watching videos. The casualty in this are other leisure activities like reading and exercising. For the millennial knowledge workers, the problem is ‘ At this age when knowledge equals success, I would love to know more but I just do not get the time to read books.

Can there be an ‘inshorts’ for books?

Bookbhook is solving this problem. Literally meaning ‘hunger for books’, Bookbhook summarises nonfiction books into short 10-15 min reading time summaries, that you can read or listen to.

Who are the key people involved?

I have my engineering college room-mate and IIM Ahmedabad co-alumnus Himanshu Joshi as the co-founder and Chief Learning Designer. Later,Jayanth Kolla joined the team as Founding Advisor.

Can you tell us how BookBhook works?

Bookbhook is an ‘app-first’ model that helps you read one life-changing book summary every weekday, on your smartphone. You can buy summaries on a pay-per-summary basis, or you can sign up for our subscription service, introductory pricing at Rs 333 for 3 months and Rs 555 for 6 months. The subscription service is being picked up not only by individual customers but also by corporate Learning and Development leaders, who see Bookbhook as an effective way to help their employees learn more.

There’s a lot of free content also available on the Bookbhook app. The summaries are handcrafted by talented writers who are also ardent book lovers. With the growing trend of audio-
book sales, Bookbhook has now started including audio versions of the summaries as well.

Can you tell us about the initial research that went in before you came out with this platform?
All our founders worked in the corporate sector before they decided to build a business model around their passion of reading and learning. They looked into global trends in the attention economy and societal trends like declining attention span (a much debated study claims that humans now have an attention less than that of Goldfish!). These trends, coupled with research dipsticks with their friends and colleagues, helped them firm up the idea of Bookbhook. Growth of international players in this space was a validation of their idea, as well.

What are your future plan?

Future roadmap of the app includes making vernacular content available, and building more content formats, based on life-changing nonfiction books. We are also building gamified micro-learning content that corporate learning and development teams can use to help their employees strengthen their skills, without getting inside a classroom. The micro-learning modules are being built using a learning architecture.

What is the subscriber base of BookHook?

The app has been downloaded by more than 60,000 users, mostly on Android. The largest chunk of Bookbhook subscribers comprises of knowledge-hungry corporate employees, who just do not get the time to read books. But why is reading so important? I am an ex corporate employee with 15 years experience across brands like Coca Cola, Nokia and Tata Docomo, and I believe that nonfiction books unlock human and business insights that help you become a better and more successful leader. With the Bookbhook app, the user no longer needs to struggle with which books to read. Bookbhook's carefully curated nonfiction book collection helps you pull out insights in just a few minutes. If the reader likes the book summary, he or she can buy the original book using the links in the Android app.

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Bookbhook to transform reading habit of Indians

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