December 23, 2016
Just as he gets home from the office, 36-year-old R Seethapathi rushes to his library at home and searches for a book. He then packs one that his customer had ordered and delivers it to their doorstep.
This is the daily routine of the engineer, cum bibliophile and librarian, who runs the Alamari Library (Bookshelf library) at his residence in Pattanam, Coimbatore. The library, which houses over 1,000 books collected over 15 years by Seethapathi, is known for its unique feature of delivering books at the doorsteps of customers.
Borrowing a book costs only Rs 2 and delivery is free. And in fact, Seethapathi says that he was ready to lend the books for free, except for the principle that people do not value something given to them for free. “Books are treasures that hold important knowledge which can be passed on down the generations. I feel that giving a book for a fixed time and for a small fee will help people understand its value and use it in a better way,” he says.
Seethapathi has about 100 customers in the city and sometimes travels up to 20 km to make his deliveries. “I love books and when I thought of doing some book-related social work, I came up with the idea of starting a library and opened it in March. This will not only help me preserve books to benefit others, but also to create a reading environment for my children at home,” he points out.
The gradual change from the print editions of books to online reading concerns him, but he is even prepared to open up an online lending library. “We are worried, yet we need to accept good changes. I am planning to team up with platforms that encourage online reading as some of my readers have requested me for the same,” Seethapathi claims, adding that he has a variety of books on all genres.
“I have books of famous writers, including Sujatha, Jeyamohan and the translated works of Russian writer Leo Tolstoy. Books teach us many things in life,” he tells Covai Post.
Seethapathy can be contacted at 8344458533.