Pay for box, not books

- April 25, 2024
| By : Idrees Bukhtiyar |

A startup with a unique concept, 'Story Box', offers affordable reading experience with thousands of books available in a pay-per-box format

FRESH ARRIVALS: Different genres of books were offered at the fair

A 22-year-old youth from Delhi recently held a book fair at Dilli Haat, Pitampura attracting a good number of bibliophiles.

Titled Story Box – India’s Biggest Book Fair, the unique concept saw attendees pay for the box, not for books. Around three lakh books were available for the visitors during the fair held from April 18 – 21.

“Our concept was to make reading affordable for all,” says Het Rathod, owner of Story Box, a start-up.

Readers had the option to purchase the books in bulk. 

FRESH ARRIVALS: Different genres of books were offered at the fair

“We are offering two boxes to readers — one is a mini, priced at Rs 1,500, while the other is a biggie at Rs 2,500. Attendees can choose the best books, no matter what the rates are, the box is closed flat,” he says.    

“We have offered a 90% discount to all the book lovers who have visited us. People might shy away when they see the rates in the markets while purchasing them, but our rates and number of books are affordable for all,” Rathod shares.

Rathod, an avid reader, says that he has witnessed a good response from bibliophiles.

“This is the first time I have organised such a fair for the general public. A good number of people came and purchased the books. Last year, I held a fair in IIT Delhi for the students of the campus only,” he says.

SEPARATE CORNER: Set up for Hindi books

Rathod has organised similar fairs in 80 cities across India. 

“I have done it in Hyderabad, Kolkata, Bhopal, Indore, Ahmedabad, Chandigarh, Dehradun, Vadodara, and Aurangabad among others,” says Rathod, who has studied Economics & International Relations at the School of Liberal Studies,  Pandit Deendayal Energy University, Gujarat.

“I am happy to see that the culture of reading books has not died yet,” he added.

His fair showcased different genres of books, including crime thriller mystery to children collections.

In the crime thriller section, he has books like The Tomyknockers, The End of Her, Death in Oslo and others. In the romance category, it has Geek Girl, P.S I love you, The last letter from your lover and others.

For the coffee table, the fair has collections like In search of wild India, Life on the home front, Planet Earth among others. In self-help collection, it has How to start worrying and start lining, The power of positive thinking, among others.

Its fresh arrival category has A Thousand Splendid Suns, Mein Kampf among others. In leather bound, the fair consists of the collection The Secret Garden, Diary and others. In the classics non-fiction category, they have Out of the Past, Doctor Throne among others.

In the young adult category, there were books like Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Lauren The Puppy Fairy among others.

In the teen fiction category, they have Fire World, The Great Pursuit and others. For the fresh arrival category, it has collections like The Alchemist, Unfinished: A Memoir – Priyanka Chopra & Jonas while in the children’s section, they have The Wind In the Willows and Snowbear’s Winter Day and others.

A separate table was set up at the fair for the sale of Hindi books. The books belong to writers like Prem Chand, Bhagat Singh, A P J Abdul Kalam, Swami Vivekananda and others. Though Hindi books were not being included in the ‘special box offering’ a concession was given on the purchase.

Attendees expressed their excitement for such a unique event being held in the city. “We get different kinds of books here, especially at cheap rates. The interesting part is that one can choose the books as much as you can till your box is full,” says Taniska, a college-going student.

Her friend Samayra says, “The fair consists of very interesting books and publications. We have purchased a few books and hope to do so in future also if such fairs are organised.”

ON TABLE: The Book fair was held at Dilli Haat, Pitampura

Tsering Kunkyit, a bibliophile, says that most people hesitate to purchase books when seeing their rates in the market. “But this fair is a huge respite for the book lovers,” she says.