Economy, Sci & Tech

Iranian Startup Wants to Help Increase Book Readership

Publishers and bookstores can also use the service to promote and sell their products.Publishers and bookstores can also use the service to promote and sell their products.

A local startup Borsipa has launched an online service for selling, donating and exchanging new and second-hand books.

Operating through, for using the services people need to create an account with the company. The website was launched last December and is gradually gaining traction, local news website Webna reported.

After creating an account with the service, users can upload the picture of the book they want to sell or donate on the website. For selling books through Borsipa users can be charged up to 30,000 rials (60 cents) for each book.

Publishers and bookshops can also use the service to promote and sell their products.

Average book readership is pitifully poor in Iran. The company director Yaser Ashurzadeh says, “It is estimated that Iranians hardly spend between 2 to 18 minutes reading every day. The meager demand for books has forced many publishers and bookshops to down their shutters.”

Without playing with words, Ashurzadeh echoes the concerns of sociologists and prominent cultural figures regarding the poor reading habits of Iranians and the woefully low book circulation numbers.  Referring to the situation as “a crisis” he says Borsipa wants to help increase and expand book readership in the country of 80 million people. To what extent he and his company will succeed remains to be seen. 

Borsipa has used an SPA framework for its website. Single-Page Applications or SPAs are web apps that load a single HTML page and update the page as the user interacts with the app. The technology allows the website to show its content based on user preference.

The company is named after ancient Sumero-Akkadian city Borsippa which was built near river Euphrates. It lies within modern-day Babel Governorate, Iraq. 

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