Published: 03rd August 2019
Lock, Stock and Book: How three engineers got together to make every reader's dream come true
Bookchor was founded in 2015 by a group of engineering students with a dream to make literature more accessible and affordable. We find out more about the journey
If you are looking for a book lover's paradise in your city, then Lock The Box by Bookchor is your dream place to be. If you have not already been to one, do visit next time a sale is on! For those who don't know what the sale is all about, Lock The Box is a unique literary event that allows you to buy all the books you can fit into a box and it happens across the country in different cities, at different times. This unique ten-day literary event has over one million pre-owned books available at one’s disposal.
Now that all of us are aware what a Lock The Box event is, have you ever thought about who came up with the idea? Let us tell you all about it! We got a chance to interact with the founders of Bookchor and here's what they told us about their exciting journey.
Bookchor was founded in 2015 by a group of engineering students with a dream to make literature more accessible. The founders are Vidyut Sharma, Alok Raj Sharma, Bhavesh Sharma and Prateek Maheshwari. Owned by Bookchor Literary Solutions, bookchor.com is available on Android, IOS and the web. "Bookchor doesn’t just sell books online but also allows users the opportunity to sell books to Bookchor or to list their books and directly sell them to the interested buyers. Bookchor.com is operational for more than four years now and have been selling second-hand books online and have completed orders from all the states of the country. We have just started with offline events, i.e. Lock the Box and apart from this we also have a wholesale arm," explains one of the co-founders of Bookchor Alok Raj Sharma.
We have started collaborating with schools to convert their libraries into smart libraries by introducing technology and other relevant books. The motive behind Bookchor is to inculcate good quality reading habits by making books affordable and accessible globally
Alok Raj Sharma, Co-founder, Bookchor
The Bookchor team imports the books that they sell on Bookchor.com, also they have a ‘Sell your Books’ option through which the readers can sell their old books. That's how they curate their books. Bookchor’s ever-growing user base already spans over 400,000 readers from all over the nation. Alok adds that they are aiming at expanding their reader base by making literature easily accessible and affordable for all the readers, globally.
Unlike books by kilogram purchases or discounts on specific titles, their unique event Lock the Box offers a one-time payment for all the books you can carry in a box. "This event was Bookchor’s flagship series of events ‘Lock The Box’ the book exhibition that witnesses a footfall of more than 40,000 readers over a weekend. The first city where Lock The Box happened was Delhi with just 50,000 books and received a footfall of 8-10K on each day. And today 21 different cities have been covered," says Alok.
These events also comprise of literary games and activities to indulge in, reading spaces, quiz competitions, poetry reading, food stalls for your gastronomic cravings, outlets to sell your existing books, drawing and story writing competitions for kids, as well as workshops for budding authors and artists. The event also provides an opportunity to meet your favourite authors and bloggers at the venue. "We were thinking of organising an offline event but we also wanted readers to not feel burdened with the price of the books and wanted to do something interesting for the readers. So, in Lock The Box, books are not priced individually but there are three differently prized and sized boxes in which readers can accommodate any book and as many books as possible so that no one can discriminate books on the basis of price or weight," adds Alok.
The three offered box sizes include the ‘Odysseus’ box which can fit minimum 8-10 books priced at Rs 999, the ‘Perseus’ box which can fit a minimum of 15-17 books priced at Rs 1499, and last but not the least the ‘Hercules’ box which can accommodate 28-30 books prices at Rs 2499.
Speaking about their future plans, Alok says, "Bookchor’s business verticals consists of e-commerce platform, school book fairs, school textbook supply, school library books supply and smart library, Lock The Box: Bookchor’s warehouse sale, wholesale orders of books, Bookchor Book Buffet for restaurants and cafes. We are trying to add more to this list by launching Bookchor merchandise at Lock The Box Reloaded, Bengaluru. We aim at expanding our reader base by making literature easily accessible and affordable for all the readers, globally."