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‘Book Hub’ – Sri Lanka’s first ever e-book store

Reading a good book usually gets you information, which in turn can be converted into knowledge but most importantly it guides you to achieve wisdom. It helps people be knowledgeable as well as thoughtful. For generations, Sri Lankans have been a nation that loved literature, but the reading habit has decreased to fairly low levels in the recent times. At present the students are exposed to modern communication methods and technologies with the presence of Internet and other facilities and tend to give up the habit of reading. Understanding this new tendency correctly an online e-book store, called ‘Book Hub’ is to be commercially launched by end of March which will be the Sri Lanka’s first ever e-book store.

Etisalat in collaboration with publisher M.D. Gunesena and mobile solution providers Microimage are set to launch this innovative project in Sri Lanka. The innovation will allow Sri Lankan literary works to be published electronically and will be made available for direct purchase through any personal computer, Android or Apple mobile device.  While the product will be commercially launched in March, the signing of the agreement of the three parties involved took place at the Hilton Colombo Residence recently.

The eBook store will be available to all users free and regardless of their mobile carrier. The eBook store will host English, Sinhala and Tamil locally published works in an electronic format. Users can shop through the portal, choose the books they want and directly download them to their smart phone, tablet or any PC. The content will go beyond novels, potentially including any locally published material such as educational publications, magazines, children’s books, religious texts and business journals.

E-Book stores have been so successful internationally because of the way in which they streamline the traditional process of shopping for books. eBooks bought through the online store will be priced lower than the physical copy of the book, and shoppers will not have to physically travel to the book store, but will be able to access it from anywhere in the world provided they are connected to the Internet.

Award winning technology company Microimage will power the entire eBook store technology for digital transformation and eBook reader apps for all leading Smartphone’s, tablets and desktop devices.

“EBook readers and eBook stores have become a global phenomenon but their benefits have eluded Sri Lankan readers, writers and publishers. This innovation will change that and the way that people read, purchase and publish local material, making it in our opinion one of the most innovative locally developed internet-based products,” stated Etisalat CEO Dumindra Ratnayaka.

Ratnayaka said they were having talks with the education ministry to list education texts in electronic format.

“It is far easier for a child to carry a tablet to school than a load of books,” he said. “It will be easier for the education ministry to update these books than printed matter.

“We will empower up and coming authors,” Ratnayaka said. “One of their biggest problems is that publishers are not willing to print their work because of the cost of holding it. Now with the ‘Book Hub’ we can open the doors to them.”

Deputy Managing Director of M. D. Gunasena said;”The rapid developments in information and communication technologies have now presented us with a unique opportunity to enrich the lives of book loving people in Sri Lanka and all over the world. The Book Hub creates a very exciting opportunity for publishers to reach out to readers through the electronic book medium. As a publisher, our wish is that the society as a whole is more enlightened through the wisdom delivered by books.”

“No matter how busy you may think you are, you must find time for reading, or surrender yourself to self-chosen ignorance.” – Confucius

Sandun W

Sandun joined Lanka Help Magazine as a contributor in June, 2011. He has been consistently writing articles to our magazine. Many useful articles of this site are under Sandun's name.

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