Two female friends' startup reignites reading culture

Two female friends' startup reignites reading culture


The readers have been showering the duo with praises for their initiative.

ISLAMABAD (APP) - Book reading, a diminishing habit in Pakistan, is being revived by two female friends, who are themselves avid readers and book lovers currently based in Karachi.

Kamila Rahim Habib and Erum Sultan started their small venture online serving bookworms in major cities nationwide via multiple membership tiers and a wide range of literary works of both international and local authors. “We started with our mutual love for reading. Books we wanted to read were never available, but we were able to acquire them through friends going abroad” Erum told APP over the phone.

“However, not all have such means. Furthermore, many times we read a book once and then it sits on the shelf” she explained further.

The online library has grown in a short span of time and currently owns over 4,000 books of a variety of genres including memoir, fiction, children’s books, romance, history, Asian and African Literature, humour and more.

“There is a shortage of libraries in Pakistan and most do not have contemporary titles” the co-founder expressed her dismay.

During the pandemic, membership to the exclusive book bank went up.

“The response was great, people started reading more. The number of members increased, now we are quite a busy library” the co-owner exclaimed with joy.

The athenaeum has members of both genders ranging from students to around 60 years of age, while majority are females.

The entrepreneur shared, “We are pleased to see that young girls are reading more.”

The readers have been showering the duo with praises for their initiative.

Rida from Karachi expressed, “It was a lovely service btw, and your extensive collection of books is a treat for any book-lover. Wishing you loads of success”

While Saniya shares, “I must admit that my son found the series Wings of Fire that he wasn’t able to in any bookstore in Karachi. You had most of the books and he just loved it.”

The library founders aim at promoting literacy in children, particularly underprivileged learners to boost the reading habit among the young ones and help them realise their dreams.

They staunchly believe that love for physical books will never fade away, despite the widespread availability of ebook readers.

“People said physical books are dying as readers are switching to kindle. I disagree. There is nothing like holding a book in your hand and turning pages. It is a learning outlet which will always remain” Sultan remarked.