Book Brahma, a portal cataloguing Kannada books


The Hindu

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 The portal, presently on a trial run, will go live on August 15

On an average, over 4,000 books are published in Kannada annually but the biggest challenge for bibliophiles is to find them.

To fill this gap comes a new portal called Book Brahma (https://bookbrahma.com), which is exclusively for Kannada books and something on the lines of Goodreads. The portal, presently on a trial run, will go live on August 15.

Senior journalist Satish Chapparike, managing director, Book Brahma, said the portal seeks to go beyond the features of Goodreads to not just catalogue reader reviews, but also literary criticism of the books, provide book news and related audio-visual content, including interviews of authors.

“The publishing industry is so unorganised that most book lovers aren’t able to find even 10% of the books annually published. We seek to fill this gap,” he said, clarifying that they are not an e-commerce portal, but provide links to portals where the said book is available and may get a small commission on the purchase of a book through the website.

The trial run has already evoked much enthusiasm, especially among NRI Kannadigas, he said. Bookseller and publisher Guruprasad D. Narayana said there was a large communication gap even among publishers and booksellers. “A one-stop catalogue for Kannada books is the need of the hour,” he said.

Work on the project began over a year ago. The portal has already catalogued nearly 4,000 books of almost all leading authors. Books of 1,973 authors have been catalogued till date and it is growing by the day.

“Our research shows there are over 500 Kannada publishers and we have been able to list out over 7,000 authors. We are presently cataloguing older classics while updating new books everyday. We will soon open the portal for publishers and authors to update their catalogue themselves,” said Devu Pattar, executive editor of the cataloguing team.

Literary criticism, in addition to readers’ reviews on the dashboard, sets the portal apart from Goodreads. “We have put together personal collections of literary criticism of at least the past 30 years, which we are now digitising adding value to the catalogue of books,” he said. Book Brahma also has a column called “Book Watchers” where over 150 critiques will contribute regularly on contemporary books.

Book Brahma is a subsidiary of Verbinden Communication, a digital marketing and technology firm based out of Electronics City, Bengaluru. Vinay Kumar J., CEO of the firm, said more than a revenue model the project was a labour of love of the founders, all of whom were Kannada literature enthusiasts. “We plan to get into publishing e-books of both classics and contemporary books once the portal takes off,” he said, hoping this would equip Kannada for the age of Kindle.

At the end of the day, Book Brahma is a community platform that will gain vibrancy only with the enthusiastic participation of Kannada bibliophiles. We hope they take to it, said Mr. Kumar.

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