Gurgaon is no city for those who like to spend hours in a library.
The concrete jungle has over three dozen malls and over 1,000 swanky high-rise residential and commercial complexes, but it is still missing a well-equipped library.
In the name of a public library, Gurgaon has one small building with dusty books, broken chairs and erratic power supply. The renovation work of this library near Civil Lines is progressing, but it will take a few months to set the infrastructure and procure new reads.
But the city’s bibliophiles have found an alternative to their reading woes, thanks to online social networking. Book-lovers are depending on city-based social media groups to exchange and read books.
It works like this: people who want a particular book post the request on web portals and social media groups, and others who have it respond.
A number of groups such as Gurgaon Moms, Gurgaon connect and Gurgaon Helpline are frequently used to share reads.
“My child, as part of holiday homework, was asked to read Ruskin Bond. I first tried to look for the series online but after noticing a delivery time of three weeks, I turned to social media. One quick post and 50 people reached out to help me,” Priyanka Sherawat, an IT professional, said.
Residents said book-exchange also allows them to read for free as no rentals have to be paid.
Urvashi Singh, a college student, said, “I am a huge fan of crime thrillers and used to borrow books from my school library when I was younger. Now, I use social media groups or post on my Facebook wall, requesting people to exchange books. I get to read for free and make reading friends as well.”
Some people are also using social media sites to sell old books at discounted rates. A picture and small description of such books are posted on the social media platforms.
Sakshi Sinha, who recently moved out of Gurgaon, sold some of her collection through Facebook before leaving the city.
“A few months back, I sold 10 books of renowned authors through Facebook. I was shifting to another city and could not carry so much weight. The books costed `200 to `500. The people were happy to get it for a discount and I made some extra money,” Sakshi Sinha said.