Letter to the Reader #3: Updates about Life, the Universe and Everything

Dear Reader... These past two years of Project Bibliotherapy have been the most fulfilling ones of my lifetime so far. Thank you so much for reading!
This March-end letter marks the start of a new chapter in this journey on two major counts. Read on to know more :)

Back in March 2020, I was looking to wrap up a 30-month sabbatical by finding a vocation which satisfied three conditions:
[1] Location independence.
[2] Time flexibility.
[3] Minimal people management.

So, on lockdown day zero, I started posting book recommendations on Instagram. At that time, I never imagined that this 'sanity project' revolving around my love for reading would evolve into a full-fledged startup venture - a dream gig, if you may.

Screengrab from JLF 2022 showcase reel.

Over the course of two years, it has :)

A couple of weeks back, during our first adventure on the road in twenty-five months, we introduced the Project in person at the Jaipur Literature Festival as official Team Mentza delegates.

A round-up of Project Bibliotherapy's top recs over two years in one place!

Our JLF experiences shall be shared in detail soon once we recover fully from the madness of it all. But until then, here's a brief look.

Over five days, we got our 42 Good Reads zine in the hands of our fellow readers, and some of the most celebrated authors in the world...

...interacted face-to-face with people who we had only known before through their words or courtesy the internet...

Random trivia - Chinaman was the first book I ever bought online

...and even had the last word in the end-of-festival showcase reel! Spot the two of us (and the zine) at [1:36] & [4:20] :D

Yes, you read that right. The two of us... :)

Major Announcement #1 - Project Bibliotherapy is no longer a one-reader show!

Meet Nandini Swaminathan - fellow reader, writer, hoopy frood and from April 1st, 2022 onward, Project Bibliotherapy's co-Founder & Storyteller-in-Chief.

Her experience of building brands for 10+ years and a passion for telling compelling stories since childhood are invaluable assets to the Project's mission of nudging folks to read more.

She also brings (much-needed) structure and accountability to the experimental and random nature of the Project's Reader-in-Chief :P

With two minds working round the clock now, the Project will focus on creating more awesome ways for you to boost your reading habit, one grand experiment at a time.

Which brings us to...

Major Announcement #2 - Welcome to READERS OF 42...

...an exclusive, pay-as-you-wish interactive community connecting people who love to read, and/or would love to read more. We're on a quest to find our first 10,000 Readers of 42, and if you're reading this, we hope that will include you :)

Why Readers of 42?

The internet began as a way for people to connect and exchange ideas, information and content across the world, faster than ever before. Over the past decade though, the majority of our online activity has been driven by a few tech giants. Where algorithms dictate what we consume. Where our attention spans have dwindled. Where the sheer quantum of information we consume and share is exponential, but often of little real value.

Reading has also become reductive. We have apps summarizing key points of books. Books aren’t considered important unless they are ‘useful’. Fiction is often considered fluff - when was the last time fiction featured on a Fortune 500 CEO’s must-read list or a startup founder's TBR? 

We are two readers who want to bring back the joy of reading simply because it’s fun. We want you to relook at the reasons why you read. We want you to let your curiosity guide your reading choices instead of bestseller lists.

The habit of reading has brought much joy to us since as long as we can remember. At the heart of it all, we want you to derive as much pleasure and joy from reading as we have, if not more.

Especially from fiction. Why, you ask?

In the words of Neil Gaiman...

“Fiction can show you a different world. It can take you somewhere you've never been. Once you've visited other worlds, like those who ate fairy fruit, you can never be entirely content with the world that you grew up in.”

What exactly is Readers of 42?

As self-professed fans of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, we have named our community Readers of 42 because well, after all, 42 is the Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe and Everything.

Join us on this crazy wild rollercoaster ride where we read better, read more, and experience the magic of reading together.

How, you ask?

For the first 10,000 Readers of 42, we are keeping it simple -

Support the Project with a contribution of your choice on stck...

...and you become a member of Readers of 42, for the cost of a coffee, a night out, a Netflix subscription, a staycation or any amount you would like to invest towards boosting your reading habit in 2022!

That’s all, folks :)

As one of the first 10,000 members of the Readers of 42, here's what you get - 

[1] Exclusive access to 10 Biblio42 zines in 2022 - curated by us, featuring the finest authors and their works we've discovered during our decades spent across the unseen internet.

Statutory Warning - Good Read #24 will induce intense carb cravings.

[2] A year’s subscription worth $120 to the Biblio Bundle - 6 Substack publications revolving around our ‘Life, the Universe & Everything’ -

Launching in April 2022

[3] Invitations to members-only community experiences.

[4] Personalized reading recommendations to help you build your own library, and lots more. We only just got started :)

Moreover, 50% of every contribution from the first 10,000 Readers of 42 will be used for buying books from independent bookstores for others, especially kids. (Think giveaways, library donations, prizes for writing competitions / quizzes and more.)

For example, earlier this month, the Project hosted its first giveaway on the occasion of Douglas Adams's birthday...

Note - all 42 winners' copies are being sourced from 7 independent bookstores and will be making their way to bookshelves across the country in April :)

Questions? Suggestions? Feel free to reach us via e-mail or Instagram DMs.

Special shout-out to the eleven folks who joined the Readers of 42 in its beta mode. Welcome aboard! Check your inboxes next week :)

So long, and thanks :) Signing off with one last nudge...

- Reader-in-Chief & Storyteller-in-Chief

PS. These letters to the reader shall always be free-to-read and will arrive in your inbox twice a month. Cheers!

Write a comment ...

Project Bibliotherapy

Show your support

Edit- We have moved to Razorpay for payments within India. For readers outside India: Sign up for $25/year to unlock access to the following benefits Benefits: 1. 42: The Curious Reader's Companion (4 Volumes) - Each volume has 42 pages that lead to handpicked essays, articles, short stories, poems, webcomics, interviews, podcast episodes, newsletters, videos and other rabbit-holes from our internet explorations. 2. Access to Monthly Readathons and the Readers of 42 Library on Substack - Receive 1 handpicked read from our Reader Companions via email at 6:42 AM IST daily from the 1st to the 14th of every month. 3. Access to the 'Readers of 42' WhatsApp private broadcast - Stay updated through our admin-only group. (No spam, we promise) 4. Access to all our offline and online Reader Experiences - Meet fellow readers at our Guided Reading Meditations, bookstore mixers, and live streams with priority invites at special prices. 5. Exclusive early access to future endeavours

Recent Supporters

Write a comment ...