For the love of books

For the love of books

Club culture

For the love of books

Ever wondered of a place where you can relax with your favourite book and at the same time get in touch with other bookworms like yourself? If you are one of those avid readers or even someone who just started reading, Bangalore BYOB Club (where ‘BYOB’ means ‘Bring Your Own Book’) is a group you might want to be a part of.

Managed by the 4 people — Ishmeet Dang, Yashashree Kamat, Nandini Swaminathan and Tara Seth — this club was launched in December last year.

Since it’s inception, the club has seen a major rise in its membership and presently has over 300 active members on Facebook (where the club posts about all their upcoming events). BYOB is a popular book club and also has its presence in cities like Delhi, Kochi and Mumbai.

“We meet up once every month and discuss a book that we have finished reading recently. It is more like a community library where members can also keep their books on lease at the end of the meet-up for other interested members to read. We have a set of rules and one has to strongly abide by them. A book can be borrowed for a period of 3 months. In case the book is found damaged, the person who borrowed it has to reimburse the entire amount,” details Ishmeet.

Apart from encouraging people to read more books and discuss their opinions on a particular book, the club also welcomes recommendations from various readers present at the meet-up.

“We, at BYOB, don’t go by the belief that only a voracious reader who reads serious things can join a book club. Rather, we look forward to anyone of any age who loves to read and is fond of any kind of book. Mostly, what stops one from reading  is when people can’t decide on what book to read or they don’t know where to pick it up from. In such situations, this club lends them a helping hand,” adds Ishmeet.

Though physical books are the ones that are encouraged more when it comes to sharing and borrowing, the club also allows people to read out an e-book; however, they don’t encourage it to be a part of the borrowing or lending process. 

Chaithanya, another member of the club, says, “I have been with the club for 3 months and it has been a brilliant experience. In fact, I look forward to the meet-up every month.

Though I am more into reading case studies and history and keep myself away from mystery and love stories, I have to admit that I did read a love story on the recommendation
of a BYOB member and it was a great read.”

While motivating people to read is the main agenda of the club, many like Tanvi also look forward to coming together and making new friends with the same interests in Bengaluru. She says, “I have been an avid reader ever since I started growing up.

What I figured out is that it is difficult to find people who read. However, since the time I joined this club, I am always excited for all the meet-ups as I come across people with similar
interest. Moreover, the members of the club are extremely friendly which makes it even more fun to attend the meet- ups.

The concept of BYOB is different from the other book clubs, where only discussions take place,” she says.  

It has been just 2 months for Nithesh S since he joined BYOB. However, he has become one of its regular members who attends all the meet-ups and activities organised by the club. Sharing his experience, he says, “It has been a good experience. The best part is that you get to know about new books and authors that you won’t come across  in normal day- to-day reading.” The concept of recommending a book that one likes and others are not
aware of is something that he admires the most.

His idea of getting into the book club was because he wanted to do something new in his free time. He says, “Actually I am someone who likes to buy my own books but the only thing is that I am biased while choosing a book or an author. I would always look for well-known authors but after joining the club, I have experimented with other authors too.” 

Tara, who has been with the club since its inception, says, “Since the club is in its incubation period, we are looking forward to including theme-based events and more outdoor
activities like organising bookfairs, theatre and plays and literature festivals.”

Each meet up sees at least 20 to 25 people turning up and most of them are regular members. “We realised that there are many who love to read and that is why we
are planning to expand to many other cities as well,” adds Tara.


(BYOB can be contacted at: bangalore@bringyourownbook.org)

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