World Book Day: Go on a blind date with a book in Chennai
Taking the concept of never judging a book by its cover a step further, the good folks at Backyard Chennai have come up with the 'blind date with a book' idea, where books are wrapped in brown paper and hints are handwritten on to the covers, to give people clues as to what the book might be. To learn more about this innovative idea, we speak to Akshaya Chitty Babu and Nithya Fernandez, the owners of Backyard.
“The concept is not entirely ours,” begins Akshaya, adding, “It is popular all over the world, and it is something we implemented at Backyard back in February 2017, when we opened up the space.” The idea, Akshaya says, is to basically get people to read more, and help them establish some kind of connect with the book, even as they pick it up. “It piques the curiosity of the reader, especially when they aren't entirely sure of what book they are buying, save for a few hints that we draw on the cover.”
Akshaya and her team personally wrap about 20-25 books every time a batch runs out, which is pretty quick, considering the popularity of the concept in the city. The genres of the book range from romance, to thriller to sci-fi to even cookbooks. “The idea is to keep the reader guessing till they open the package. We have a mix of popular as well as authors that people might not really heard of as well,” she says.
Another reason as to why the concept is so popular is because these mystery books are quite inexpensive to buy. “The books are all second-hand books and are not very expensive. We sell each book at around Rs 100,” says Akshaya, adding that there are regulars who come to Backyard, asking for these books, especially.
“Not only do we want to provide readers with a platform to read, but we also encourage them to gift these books as they make for great, innovative gifts,” she signs off.