Saturday, February 27, 2010

Delivery Menu: Books

When I say that the Internet is the most powerful thing there is, you'd better believe me. Also, you'd better believe me when I say it is vast. It's easy to get lost (and then found something out of it).

All I wanted was just tidying up my Google Reader subscription, and one of the drop-down menu on the left suggested a feed for City of Letters blog. And who am I to refuse a recommendation?

So that's how I wound up knowing about readingwalk. And I thought, this is a pretty neat solution for a creature of habit, like me. They decribe themselves as a delivery book rental. Which basically means you can borrow a book by placing order on their web or by sms, and they'd have the book delivered to your frontdoor.

To be honest, this is exciting, as I don't think this is a new concept, but rather, it takes an established idea, and then maxed it up for the customers' convenience.

Because let's face it, how often do we plan going to a bookstore other than on whimsical basis, say while waiting for a friend in a mall?  So how many books we end up reading? As much as I enjoyed reading ebooks on my iPod Touch screen, it's always nice to be able to touch the paper. And for a good mystery reading, flip-flip-flip, oh there's the clue I missed earlier!

OK, so I am partial to childhood nostalgic moment when I was reading Detektif Cilik Hawkeye Collins & Amy Adams, only to be unable to recognize the series other than by saying that, "One of the character is named Hawkeye," during my later teenage years. And seeing the series on their list of 'Petualangan' books was all it takes to excite me.

And of course if you'd prefer the more serious ones, there's Tetralogi Pulau Buru and other Pramoedya's books. and this is where the rental concept comes in handy, those books aren't exactly cheap, I remembered shelling out significant money for those books.

On the other hand, the categories are rather impressive as well. Comics? Check. Magazines? Pernikahan, Desain Interior, and Traveling. Books categories? Covering Metropop to Bisnis&Manajemen to Desain Grafis (and many more), I say there's a healthy chance you'll find what you want there. Or else, one of the book on their booklist might appeal you while perusing the gallery.

I'm thinking it has similarities with Netflix here. And just like Netflix's potential to let its customer see more (and learn more), readingwalk surely has what it takes to make us read more (and hence learn more). Even if it's just to relive the feeling of being a child again, see the world with wide-eyed curiosity, just like we did when we were little. Or by helping us learning something new, or ignite the longing to see somewhere new.

Because that's what I feel after I read J.P.V.F.K. (Jakarta-Paris Via French Kiss) by Syahmedi Dean. Obviously I know nothing about the fashion world (Project Runway is just not my thing), and this book is a neat example how reading something can expand your knowledge horizon beyond your usual idea diet. Also, if The Naked Traveler doesn't make you feel like backpacking to some exotic places, then I don't know what will.

A little friendly caveat, though: if you're using Opera, you might want to turn on Opera Turbo. For some reason, the site took it's time to load up, and for a great many of you it'll be a deal breaker. Just persevere. Or try their Facebook page.

Oh, and apparently they're only serving East Jakarta and Bekasi area. But surely it won't hurt if you pester them to expand their service? If you also like the idea.

Now I wonder, do they have Kopi Merah Putih? And if you wonder if this is a contest submission, it is.

No comments: