BookBhook — A great idea executed well, perhaps a first in India?

About seventeen or eighteen years ago, when the world (and I) was a tad younger, I read a tech article about an exciting, impending launch — about paper-thin display screens, that could be rolled up or folded to fit into a shirt pocket and easily carried around.

Based on this information I dreamt of a start-up idea : a book summaries service, to help people read the latest best-sellers whenever they had a few minutes to spare. Obviously summaries wouldn’t work well for fiction, but there could be a large market among readers of non-fiction such as management or self-development books. This was a new idea, unlike the idea of offering portable news on the web (and later small screens), for which several news-based websites that were already around.

The years rolled on, the paper-thin foldable screens stayed tantalisingly close to being launched, and I stayed busy in my corporate jobs. Meanwhile the touch-screen phone made one entry with the Nokia 7710 (which incidentally I launched in India in 2005). And then Apple hit the shelves with the iPhone. What smartphones did to the world after that doesn’t need to be spelt out.

So the world began consuming media on pocket-friendly smartphones, including as e-books and audio-books. Much as I’d dreamt. However the time-saving book summaries still hadn’t appeared, at least not in a big way in India.

This was till last year, 2016, when Gaurav Gupta discovered his hunger to do something about it. Gaurav quit his corporate job and got full-time into this. He worked to launch a service called BookBhook that offers App and Website based summaries of a carefully selected list of books. The second part of the name “bhook” is the Hindi word for “hunger”. (See the connection with his hunger to share books?). BookBhook today lists summaries of a wide range of titles across genres like Science and Technology, Marketing, Parenting, Biographies, Culture, Spiritualism, Self-Development etc.

Now I’ve heard generic criticism of book summaries that the summary experience is far from what you get on reading the full book.

However this is where the summariser’s choice of genre is critical. As I noted above, genres such as fiction, where the elaborate plot details are the crux, might not work well as a summary. But in many non-fiction categories such as Management, where there are a few strong underlying concepts, thoughts, or insights presented by the book, you can get a pretty good first feel from reading its summary.

My generally positive experiences from reading book summaries fall into two types.

The first is when the summary whets your reading appetite enough to make you want to read the full book. Book-bhook caters well to this by seamlessly taking you to apps or websites where you can buy the book if you want to.

And the second good experience is when the summary inspires your curiosity to learn more, and you get into a Google, YouTube or Slideshare to access more related information there.

Either way, this provides me with great ideas, stimulation for the mind, and is a much better way to re-energise from a full day at work, as compared to sitting mindlessly in front of the TV or watching movies!

BookBhook has given me an excellent way of staying in touch with my reading list. I have read over fifty titles across genres in a few weeks, and hear that there are over a hundred more titles on the way to being published soon. Most summaries are readable in between five and ten minutes and some are available as audio files which can be heard while on the move.

The titles I’ve picked eg from Sci-Tech, Parenting, or Marketing have helped build my understanding of what’s happening in the world around, providing me with new thinking, insights and developments. Reading biographies has proved to be great for self-reflection and building up my self-motivation levels, and I’ve also discovered interesting insights from books on spirituality and self-help.

Books are widely considered among our best companions, and BookBhook brings these closer to us, effortlessly and effectively. It lists summaries of both, successful books of both International and Indian authors, and I find it a matter of pride to have such an inspiring and high quality service available at hand. More power to BookBhook!

Visit the Apple App store / Google Play Store and download the free BookBhook app to begin enjoying all its benefits! I’d love to hear from you about your experience of using BookBhook and to see if it was as much fun as it’s been for me!