Books etc: an ideal gift shop for booksmiths

Writer, translator Saba Bashir fills the vacuum in the market for those who find themselves in a fix as to what to gift to a book lover. Saira Mujtaba in a conversation with the writer-cum-entrepreneur finds out what prompted her to come up with Books etc.
 
Saba Bashir has been basking in the glory of success of her books but what has kept her on her toes is her start-up venture ‘Books etc’. The novel idea of ‘literary gifts’ was what made Books etc come into being. We often find ourselves clueless when it comes to buying a gift for a book lover. Apart from the limited choices of a book or a fancy pen, there wasn’t much that one could think of. But thanks to Saba Bashir, one can now gift a trendy bag or a coffee mug with quotes of your favourite characters or some trivia related to books. Now you can sip coffee in a mug saying “ Et tu Brute!” or flaunt a dandy bag that says ‘Hot girls read’ or quotes the timeless character of Hamlet ‘To be or not to be’. Books etc has definitely filled the void for book lovers when it came to buy gifts that were so conspicuous by their sheer absence from the market but now have finally arrived!
 
Q. What enthused you to start books etc?
 
Both of us (my husband Amir and myself) have always been passionate about books and we felt that there were very few options in the market if we wanted to buy a gift for a book lover. Beyond a book mark, there were hardly any options available. Also reading has been on the upswing lately so we thought of bringing in a new category into the market- that of ‘literary gifts’.
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Q. What is your vision for Books etc?
We want Books etc to be the first choice of the people whenever they think of literary gifts. We also plan to include regional languages as we see a lot of untapped potential there.
 
Q. ‘Literary gifts’ sounds a very novel concept. How has been the response so far? How do you intend to take it forward?
These are early days. Being a start-up, we do not have many resources at our disposal but to whomsoever we have shown the products, they have liked our products and also readily purchased the same. We are looking for like-minded people to join us so that we can fast forward the initiative. Apart from online selling, we also plan to tap the offline stores to maximize our reach.
 
Q. Where do you see Books etc in the next 5 years?
To have a pan-India presence.
 
Q. A message you’d like to leave for all the booksmiths out there?
Come and explore a new experience in gifting with us. We have a lot of products in the pipeline.