Sunday, November 8, 2009

Our Plans

Reading Plans, silly! We have no other plans in the near future. After Diwali, its just been a huge rollercoaster of a time. As always, the rest of the year will whizz past for us, as with many of you, with unending social events, celebrations, weddings, and other fun happenings with friends and family!

Since we set up our site—and it’s been more than two years now—the commonest question we have encountered is regarding our tariffs.

Although they are tabulated on our site under the section “Our Plans”, here’s a quick overview.
We have five plans, with different monthly tariffs based on the number of books you order. The refundable security deposit we take across all plans is the same—Rs. 500. Apart from this you have to make a monthly subscription which ranges from Rs.600 down to Rs.100 according to the plan you choose to take. The plans are as follows:

SUPER READER- gives you an unlimited number of deliveries of SIX* books at a time. Monthly Subscription Rs. 600. This is by far the most value you can get for your money.
REGULAR READER-gives you 2 deliveries of 3 books each in a month. Monthly subscription Rs 400. Our most popular plan!!

RELAXED READER-gives you 2 deliveries of 2 books each in a month. Monthly subscription Rs.300. This is a plan which most people begin with, and then jump to Regular Reader from it.

CASUAL READER- gives you 2 books a month. At Rs 150 a month, this is a JOLLY GOOD DEAL.

TURTLE READER- gives 1 book a month with a fee of Rs. 100. We only recommend this for those who really are hard-pressed for time!

Apart from the monthly subscription plans, our readers get interesting offers for subscription from time to time. For instance, we ran our 1+1 month offer with Yo! China earlier this year, which was a great experience. Our Book Fair membership offer got our new readers a choice of free books, and currently we are offering readers who give the entire year’s subscription 2 complimentary months! So you get 14 months reading for the price of 12.
*Alright, so its an open secret now!! Yes, it’s true that our Super Readers have been receiving 6 books in one go for the past two months or so. Since it has been such a success, and has seen so many of our regular readers moving from Regular to Super reader, we shall soon make it official on our site too! In the meantime, Happy Reading!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Dire Straits!

Dire Straits!

Ever noticed the similarities between Charles Dickens and our very own Munshi Premchand?

Yes, Dickens was English and Premchand was Indian, but they both were prolific writers and have reflected the harsh reality that marked their times in their work. Both have brought up common social issues in their body of work, and have left heart-rending imprints of their characters in the minds of their readers.

Dickens was born in 1812 in Hampshire in England, Premchand was born in a small village called Lamahi near Banaras. Both had relatively carefree childhoods which were rudely disrupted by incidents in the family. Dickens’ family sank into debt sometime after he turned five. Premchand’s childhood came to a sudden end at the age of 8, when his mother died.

Both of them had responsibilities thrust upon them early in life. Dhanpatrai (Premchand’s real name) had to manage his family, which included his wife, his step-mother and 2 step-brothers when his father died. He first took up a job as a private tutor and then became a teacher. Dickens was sent off to a blacking factory even earlier, when his father was taken away to the Marshalsea debtors’ prison. He managed to go to school later, but left at the age of 15 to work as a clerk and then became a reporter.

Both raise social issues that dogged their society. Both effectively use children as protagonists in their work. Both writers now have an iconic presence in the literature of their country.

What made these great writers so prolific? Dire straits I think! Here were great minds yes, but the drive to write came from a much more basic need—material needs that were required to be fulfilled. Most of us today, tapping away on our keyboards, cannot even imagine the compulsions which these authors operated under.

Who would you rate as the better chronicler of his times?