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Juggernaut Books: Reviewing the app that can get people to read more

The app is now available for Android phones and tablets, with an iOS version yet to be released

New data from research firm CounterPoint Research, released in February 2016, suggested that India had overtaken the US as the second largest smartphone market in the world—220 million smartphone users and counting. But not many of these 220 million smartphone users read a lot. Sensing a massive opportunity waiting to be tapped, Indian digital publishing house Juggernaut, founded by Chiki Sarkar and Durga Raghunath, has rolled out an app that tries to blend a curated online bookshop, sampling and easy payment. Perhaps, the non-believers will sit up and take notice. We take a quick look at how the app works.

Open the app, and what greets you is a rather clean interface. There are tabs at the top—Discover, Read, Write and Me. When you sign up for the first time, Juggernaut Books asks you to select certain tags around book genres that you prefer to read—the idea is to curate the suggestions better, based on your selections.

Tap on any book cover, and what you get is a short summary of what the book is all about, with links to save the title in your profile for buying or reading later or to buy a paid title straightaway. The preview option lets you read a certain part of the book for no charge, which will be helpful if you are undecided about whether this is what you want to read or not. Incidentally, among the 150-plus books currently available, there are some books that are available to read for free, such as Agatha Christie’s Philomel Cottage, and prices for the paid ones start at as low as 10. For books that are up for buying, you can pay using a credit or debit card, or even link your PayTM wallet to make payments for the purchases. You can also gift a book to a friend, on their email address.

All across the app, we are extremely impressed by how much emphasis has been given to a minimalistic design, and also the font style and size which is extremely crisp and easy to read even on smaller 4.7-inch or 5-inch smartphone screens. The search feature works well, which makes it simpler to search for titles and authors.

Taking inspiration from the Netflix subscription model for content, Juggernaut will also offer daily and monthly subscription plans soon— 15 per day and 299 per month, which will allow access to a wider library of titles without having to pay for each of them.

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