Free book exchange website attracts booklovers across Turkey

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Free book exchange website attracts booklovers across Turkey

The number of members of www.kitapbu.org, created six months ago by three university students for free book exchange are rapidly increasing

ISTANBUL — The website, www.kitapbu.org, based on volunteering, is also trying to support village schools that are in need of books for their libraries. Designed by engineering students, the platform first offered only 300 books to exchange. But now, both the number of books on offer and the number of members - currently around 1,000 members have exchanged books within the last six months - increased. The well-intentioned initiative caught the eye of the bookworms, especially those in the Black Sea region and rural areas in eastern Anatolia.

Hoping that the platform will encourage people to exchange their books rather than leaving them on bookshelves, the site developers also note that they will share cover designs for books within the coming days. "We are planning to add a comment section called 'Socialize with Books' for our users to leave their views or suggestions," said Yunus Emre Göl, one of the developers studying at İzmir University's Department of Software Engineering.

Çağlar Ergül, another developer at the Gediz University Department of Computer Engineering, said that they combined technology with love of literature. "We do not accept illegally printed books and immediately return them to their owners. The only requirement is that your book is original and in good condition," explained Ergül.Books previously on dusty shelves for many years are introduced to their new readers via this website. Ergül called for new volunteers to help them record books, evaluate requests and ship procedures.

Göktuğ Erdoğan, the third developer of the website studying at the İzmir Economy University Department of Logistics and International Relations, further added that members may also request books if they cannot find any book currently on the website.

The website is user-friendly and the system simple.First, you send your books to the postal address by filling an online form. Your books are checked in and the website gives you points to use for borrowing books you want. The site also accepts donations. The young initiators started promotional campaigns on social networking sites and continue to introduce the platform at schools. Whether you want to donate your books that are about to get dusty on your shelves, loan your books for others - some of whom will never have a chance to purchase the books - or you are looking for more books to read, log on to www. kitapbu.org to support this initiative.

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