Bookboon Brings Free eBooks to South African Commuters

21898874251_2768c3cf2e_hThanks to a partnership between Gautrain and Bookboon, Johannesburg commuters are joining readers in London and NYC in enjoying free ebooks on their way to work.


On a pursuit to bridge the gap between education and its heavy cost in South Africa, Gautrain has partnered with an exciting and efficient e-book service, Bookboon SA, with a free and efficient access to over 2 000 textbooks and books on various topics.

The partnership was official launched on Tuesday morning at the Sandton Gautrain station.

Bookboon SA patriot, Jenny Crwys-Williams said “what Uber transport services have done with transport is exactly what Bookboon is doing to education”.

Gauteng MEC for Roads and Transport Ismali Vadi was delighted at this partnership, saying Bookboon SA will not add value to the Gautrain experience. He added that for tertiary students across the country, it is free access to textbooks.

Gautrain users can access e-books at all Gautrain stations, and Vadi added that they are still in process to create access inside the trains.

What with the limited accessibility, the Gautrain program is neither very appealing or useful. Textbooks are at their most effective when used while studying. That is a type of sustained activity which you can do while commuting - if you bring along your existing notes or textbook.

But with the Gautrain-Bookboon service, will students really gain anything from browsing Bookboon in the 3-5 minutes they are standing on the train platform?

Obviously not, and that could explain why other similar services were more limited.

Looking at this program, it's now clear why Penguin decided to offer excerpts in London, NYC, and in the program offered to Amtrak passengers in 2015. Penguin chose content to fit the limited time which passengers spent on the transit systems rather than simply giving access to, say, all of Project Gutenberg.

Give readers a huge selection and they could get lost in just looking for a book to read. But if you limit that selection to just a few dozen excerpts, readers will spend more time reading than browsing.

image by airbus777

About Nate Hoffelder (10619 Articles)
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader:"I've been into reading ebooks since forever, but I only got my first ereader in July 2007. Everything quickly spiraled out of control from there. Before I started this blog in January 2010 I covered ebooks, ebook readers, and digital publishing for about 2 years as a part of MobileRead Forums. It's a great community, and being a member is a joy. But I thought I could make something out of how I covered the news for MobileRead, so I started this blog."

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