By Hovhannes Vardanyan, Private
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To spark more interest in books, Facebook has created a group called “MYbookstore crowdfunding for books”. The goal is to help readers have access to hardly accessible books through available versions.

The group was created by the MYbookstore team, which has been providing readers with the opportunity to purchase books for half the price for the past four months. The group’s founder pays 10% of the cost of the book, and 40% of the money is raised through crowdfunding. The group’s creators say the numbers are relatively growing day after day. This is due to dissemination. In the beginning, it was for a narrower circle of people, but now, every reader invites dozens of friends to the group.

Levon Stepanyan, one of the group’s creators, says that the “MYbookstore crowdfunding for books” group, which already has about 3,500 members, made serious progress in terms of the number of applications this month compared to the previous month. “Sometimes there are more applications, but on average, we confirm applications for three books a day. I must mention the last case when we confirmed 5 applications in exactly 24 hours. It is a joy for us to see that there was positive feedback for all the books funded in this period.”

The group’s facilitator Hasmik Avagyan opened up and said that even though these results might seem incredible, it is a fact that everyone is seeing the implementation of a program that has gathered book lovers and that each of them supports each other with great pleasure. “This provides me with the opportunity to be outspoken and say that young Armenians are back to reading.”

Interestingly, there are more fiction books than books in other genres. The number one book is the fantasy book “The Unbearable Lightness of Being” by French contemporary writer Milan Kundera, followed by the book “The Red-Haired Woman” by Turkish writer and Nobel Prize recipient Orhan Pamuk and the book “The Other Side of the Earth” by newly elected Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan. These books stand out with their nature, content and the problems raised.

Hasmik also says that there is a high demand for not only Armenian-language books, but also books in Russian and English. “A lot of people are also interested in books devoted to business, marketing and, in many cases, various professions. It is a pleasure for me to state the fact that more and more book lovers are applying. I must mention the fact that funds for books for soldiers are raised through the efforts of the group’s active users and the group’s creators,” Hasmik said.

Chairman of the council of sergeants of one of the military units of the Defense Army of Nagorno-Karabakh stationed in the southeastern direction, Senior Sergeant Mher Hovhannisyan found out about the group from his fellow serviceman. He listed the book “The Glass Bead Game” by Hermann Hesse, and funds for this book were raised in a matter of minutes. “After exploring the group, I took pride in the fact that, in our days, there are people who attach importance to books and help strangers obtain their preferred books. What was more inspiring was the fact that there are special conditions for servicemen. I must say that servicemen read the new releases of Armenian versions of foreign literature during their service at a military unit and especially during on-duty service.”

The group’s creators fully hope that the “MYbookstore crowdfunding for books” group best meets the key objective and gathers more book lovers.