Books throw their weight around, Puneites lap them up

Books sold by weight have caught the fancy of Puneites, who are coming in droves at the exhibition-cum sale being held at the Institute of Engineering. Children's books are being sold at Rs 200/kg, while others are up for grabs for only Rs 100/kg!

Books By Weight is a venture started about six months ago by Madhavi S and Ajay Gupta - owners of Butterfly Books, a niche enterprise of children's books. It is not a part of Butterfly Books as it isn't a children's books' venture. It is independent, registered by law and is copyrighted and patented, organisers said. The exhibition has been extended by a week, owing to tremendous response.

This enterprise sells all kinds of books fiction, science and technology, biographies, health, sports and literature. The books are bought to the UK and the USA from small country-shops, dealers and libraries and shipped by sea to Mumbai, where these books are distributed to this exhibition.

These books are sold purely by weight. Some of these books are new. Several bookstores buy them at wholesale rate and sell them at retail prices. Exhibitions of a similar nature have been held in Mumbai and Pune and there are plans of holding one in Hyderabad soon. The biggest exhibition till date is scheduled from March 6 to 30 2013, at Sundarbai Hall in Churchgate, which will exhibit more than 10,00,000 books, organisers said.

Books by Weight have a very less profit margin. It is a new venture and they are yet to break-even.

Their idea is to make profit by selling books in bulk. Children's books quote a higher price because the cost of manufacture is higher than paperbacks. "I was amazed to find that every city has a different demand for books. While Puneites love books on sports, Mumbaikars prefer books on art and antiques, while people from Bangalore are interested in books on interiors and gardening," said Madhavi S.

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