Liputan The Jakarta Post tentang Goodreads Indonesia

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Book fans benefit from book swapping
by Triwik Kurniasari , The Jakarta Post , Jakarta | Sun, 05/17/2009

Bookworms: A member of online community Goodreads Indonesia selects books on the sideline of a gathering at the Bank Mandiri Museum in Central Jakarta. The Saturday event, which was the first of its kind, was held to give booklovers a chance to swap best-selling or new books with fellow members. JP/Triwik Kurniasari

The city’s book lovers will find it easier to read bestsellers or new releases, as they now have more chances to swap books with other book fans.

On Saturday afternoon, dozens of Goodreads Indonesia members came to the Bank Mandiri Museum in the city’s Old Town to exchange books.

Each book lover is encouraged to bring two books. One of the books can be swapped for another book, while the remaining book will be donated to a local library.

“Actually, you may bring as many books as you like. If you want to donate all your books, that’s fine,” Amang Suramang, a Goodreads Indonesia member, told The Jakarta Post.

He said book swapping was a way to deal with the high expense of books.

“There are public libraries in the city, but not every body knows about them. The lengthy bureaucracy also sometimes becomes another problem for people who want to borrow or read books.

“Bookstores are more accessible, but you have to spend money to get the books. Book swapping is a practical way to find new books to read without having to pay.”

Goodreads Indonesia, which has more than 2,300 members across the country, is one among dozens of local communities that participated in the “Community Week”.

The event is held in observance of the World Book Day festival and the National Book Day event, which falls on May 17. Exchanging books is not a new thing for Goodreads Indonesia members.

Wirotomo, another Goodreads Indonesia member, said he had lent a number of his collection to his virtual friends he met online through the community.

“I just thought it would be better to lend some of my books to other people, instead of just stacking them in my bedroom,” said Tomo, who likes to collect superhero graphic novels.

The 38-year-old said he did not mind lending his books to people he barely knew.

“I trust them because they are also book lovers and members of the group. I believe they will return my books and keep them in good condition.”

Lita Soerjadinata, a Ciputat resident in Tangerang, said she often lent her books to Goodreads Indonesia members outside Jakarta, such as in Bandung in West Java and Banjarmasin in South Kalimantan.

“I usually send the books through the post office. So far, they [the borrowers] have always returned my books,” said Lita, who likes to hunt for books in flea markets.

“Borrowing books is a cheap way to read many books. So far I have borrowed about 60 books from Goodreads members.”

The book swapping event will end Sunday afternoon.

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