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HindustanTimes Wed,23 Apr 2014

Mobile library celebrates 25 years

Ritesh Mishra, Hindustan Times  Indore, December 15, 2012
First Published: 01:12 IST(15/12/2012) | Last Updated: 01:13 IST(15/12/2012)

Shyam Agarwal's teenage hobby is paying dividends, having served book lovers of Indore for 25 years.

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Agarwal's mobile library on wheels, Shyam Library and Suvidha Agency, delivers books, comics and also competitive examination magazines to thousands of readers across the city.

The venture that started with six novels and some magazines bought from a bus stand for R100 in 1987 today pays Agarwal "more than R1 lakh per month".

The library on wheels now has 5,000 members including the first 10 who helped shape a 15-year-old's dreams. Now 40, Agarwal, a commerce graduate, has moved on from a cycle to a scooter.

"I have hired four persons to distribute the books," he said. Agarwal got the idea for his unique library after seeing people approach his brother, a newspaper agent, for free delivery of books and magazines.   

The library's monthly membership fee has gone up from the initial R25 to R350.

Business has thrived, but Agarwal believes it will be tough for others to emulate him.

"Today, everything is available on the internet."

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