Introducing the Bookselves App

Depending on the competence of our social media interns, you may have heard quite a few things about us, already.

Bookselves is something completely new. It’s a step back to basics when it comes to sharing and reading books, while also taking advantage of the beauty and joy of modern technology. You could say that it’s a pretty “novel” idea.

All book-related puns aside, Bookselves is a Bay Area-based startup that connects booklovers via the Bookselves mobile app and enables users to schedule in-person meetings to trade physical copies of the books they own.

Our goal is to reanimate the culture surrounding hard copy books in response to the flourishing digital age, which has awkwardly displaced real books between the rising tide of e-books and the increasingly vacant bookstore. To do this, we’re creating a mobile app that brings together the best of both worlds, one that uses digital media as a tool to bring like-minded booklovers together in their passion for reading tangible, classic literature.

While the app launches sometime in fall 2015, Bookselves has already begun to make a name for itself as a community for avid book readers in the pursuit of traditional, unbeatable hard copy literature.

The rundown of the user experience is quite simple, and can be summarized in a few steps:

1- Upload the titles of books you own and wish to exchange for new ones to your profile.

2- Browse the books of other users until you find an interesting title up for trade on somebody else’s profile — or until they find one on yours!

3- Schedule a convenient time and place for a rendezvous through the app.

4- Meet up, exchange books, and chat over coffee, tea, boba, lunch, fishing, knitting… etc.

At Bookselves, we don’t believe in reinventing the wheel. We don’t want to replace the book — we merely wish to celebrate its simple and unparalleled pleasures.

It’s delightful.

The app will have some charming and cool features for users to enjoy. Here are a few:

⋆ The “bookself,” or an in-app bookshelf in which all of the titles a user uploads will be stored and made visible to other users. Yes, it will look like a real bookshelf, and users will have the option to customize and personalize their bookselves to a rather whimsical extent.

⋆ The “bookselfie,” which doesn’t have to be a selfie, at all. Before users part ways with their freshly swapped books, they are encouraged to take a bookselfie to immortalize the trade. Basically, it’s an image of the two books side-by-side, curated inside every book in our database. The photo documents the journey of the book as it navigates the ownerships of different people. Pretty neat, eh?

In-app promotions from real life bookstores. At Bookselves, we love to partner up with different bookstores, which means users get the freshest picks off the press from local bookstores or other hot deals, exclusive to users of the Bookselves app.

You may be wondering, is this a social app? Or is it self-serving?

We like to think that the app is a little bit of both, but it’s completely up to the user — you. The Bookselves app allows users to tailor their experience to meet their own needs.

Do you enjoy meeting new people and engaging in conversation about your favorite books?

Do you wish to expand your library, read adventurously, and cross more titles off your literary bucket list?

Do you miss the sentimental experience that is indulging in a hard copy book?

Any genre, any place, anybody — if you enjoy a good read and a good time to accompany it, then Bookselves is the app for you!

Rawan is the principal writer at Bookselves. Follow her on Twitter @obirawankenobi

Originally published at on July 8, 2015.