I have mentioned in my articles about Bookster, and you were probably wondering what it is.
Well, time has come to say something about it too.
Bookster is a corporate library. What does it mean? It means that companies who are interested in offering their employee a different kind of benefit hire Bookster for delivering weekly books at their headquarters, according to reader’s preferences.
In the context of B generation, a concept like Bookster was welcome in Romania, especially as it has many books and articles for personal and professional development.
How does it work? Well, for example me, as an employee of my company, I request a book from their site (http://www.bookster.ro). They tell me the exact date when the book will arrive and I should go and get it. You have the right to keep a book in your possession for a month, and after that you have the possibility to extend the period to another one. Totally, you can keep a book for two months. If you request an article you can keep it for a maximum of two weeks. For each book you read, you win a number of Bookster points and a rank. I started by being a Bookster disciple, and now I got to Bookampion. You can also set a number of articles you want to read and if you reach your goal you will receive a small treat (last year I got a card 🙂 ).
Also, every time you receive a book, you also get a small snickers candy. The concept is pretty cool and innovative in Romania taking in count that they were the first one to launch it.
You can also have a wish list where you can make a list of all the books you would like to read, and suggestions where you can mark the books you would like to read.
About the founder of Bookster, he is called Bogdan Georgescu and he is 42. He is a member of one of the most exclusivist global organization, Young Presidents Organization. His favourite books are: “How will you measure your life” by Clayton M. Christensen, “Behind the Beautiful Forevers” by Katherine Boo and “The Power of Habit” by Charles Duhigg. He was a painter, driver, network administrator, real estate agent for houses sold in Caribe, the managing partner at Colliers International for 14 years and then founder & CEO at Teach for Romania for 11 months.
Today, from March 2013 until now, he is the founder of Bookster, a concept unique in Romania, and maybe in the world. The idea came in 2011 from the desire to realize a project with social impact. He tested 7 ideas together with 15 faculty graduates. The first winner was “Teach for Romania”, but working with the authorities wasn’t his main strength, so he decided to give up on it. Now he sends books to more than 300 companies in Romania. In September 2013, the pilot program was launched with ING and Transylvania bank, and in October, when the program would have launched in Vodafone, they ran out of books. For Transylvania Bank they provided at first 300 accounts, and then another 100, which were out of stock in 8 minutes. Besides these ones, among the first companies to test the product were “Ernst & Young” and Orange.
Today, the Bookster library contains over 60,000 books, articles, case studies and video materials from different domains, from personal and professional development, to hobby and belletristic. The main providers are Carturesti and Humanitas publishing houses, and the books in English are ordered from the United Kingdom. Their books are read by more than 40.000 employees from banks, IT, telecommunications, automotive industry and also other domains who read more or less 500,000 books borrowed from Bookster. More or less 40% to 50% of the employees of a company actively read books from the Bookster library. Approximately 65% of the requested books are in Romanian and 35% in English. They have a small collection of French books which they want to increase, and in the future they will add collections in Spanish and German (happy me 🙂 ).
Aaand, another interesting fact, three quarters of the subscribers are women.
Top ten most read books at bookster (April 2016):
- Oscar and the Lady in Pink – Eric Emmanuel Schmitt
- The book thief – Markus Zusak
- Men are from Mars, women are from Venus – John Gray
- The one who is waiting for me – Parinoush Saniee
- How will you measure your life – Clayton M. Christensen
- Man’s Search for Meaning – Viktor E. Frankl
- Cook in 15 minutes with Jamie – Jamie Oliver
- The five love languages – Gary Chapman
- Love in times of cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
- The psychology of persuasion – all about influence – Robert B. Cialdini
In 2017, Bookster launched the project “AmbasaDOR de carte” (book ambassador) which encouraged Romanian people to read. This way, during summer, the 40,000 readers took part in an initiative of reading promotion, after which the most active book sustainers were rewarded with the title of “Book ambassadors”, trips to Paris and Disneyland, photo cameras and trip guides. The idea of the project started from the fact that ever since the modern library was launched, the readers shared with their friends photos with the book they were reading at a coffee shop, in transportation or in the park.
During this project, more than 1,000 photos have been sent, with books captured in spectacular frames. Romanians read in a great variety of places, such as mountain peaks, waterfalls, beaches or other natural landscapes, but also during urban vacations in the capitals of the world: from New York, Prague or Athens to the rooftops of Bucharest.
Me reading a book during a vacation in the western Carpathians.
For me, Bookster is one of the most amazing services that were ever provided in Romania (and i’m not exaggerating).
At the end, some other good news. Bookster is hiring. So, if you want to take part in a team of young, joyful and inspired entrepreneurs, you can access the following link: http://www.bookster.ro/join/.
Good luck and happy reading.