Microimage and Etisalat has embarked on a project on digitizing the M. D. Gunasena’s bookstore and having them on the Internet for interested viewers for few months. The delay to write this blog post was that due to some problem in my laptop, I couldn’t access the Client program created by Microimage to download and read the books. I could access the client during the last weekend at a friend’s house and found it a very easy process.
The Book Hub is not only about MD Gunasena’s books. MD Gunasena plays the role of bringing all the publishers under one roof. They deal with all the publishers as the representative of TheBookHub.
The books can be bought and ready with your mobile phones, (Contact the operators to see if your mobile is compatible) PCs and laptops.
The books on the site are and easy to read. The site contains Sinhala, Tamil and English books published by M. D. Gunasena and you can also obtain some Western classics for zero value. I downloaded Emma and Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, the abridged versions. I am yet to “buy” a book and will do so soon.
The operators had an issue at the very beginning of the project. Within the same week they launched the e-book store website, someone had sneaked out the domain www.bookhub.lk and directed traffic to his paper book site. So, the operators had to re-launch the site at www.thebookhub.lk. This is no big deal. Even Facebook was www.thefacebook.com at the beginning and Mark Zuckerberg had to pay 250,000 US$ for the person who had bought www.facebook.com to obtain the domain.
I’m not aware of the scale of the book sales on The Book Hub. Even if it is small, they should not discourage as e-books and audiobooks are the future of books. So, they will have to wait a little till readers get used to e-books.