COVID-19: Airtel offers thousands of e-books for free

Bharti Airtel said it has made its e-book application — available to anyone — free on a temporary basis to help those who are spending time at home as part of the Coronavirus lockdown.

“Readers can now access thousands of top books and novels on Juggernaut Books (formerly known as Airtel Books) for FREE by simply downloading the app (Android/iOS) on their smartphones,” the telecom operator said.

Juggernaut app offers e-books and novels across a wide range of genres – love and romance, business, history and politics, fitness, diet, spirituality and classics.

Airtel acquired a strategic stake in Juggernaut in 2017.

Adarsh Nair, Chief Product Officer, Bharti Airtel said the move is aimed to make sure that people have more options to stay engaged as they observe social distancing.

“And what’s better than getting back to reading. At Airtel, we will continue to innovate and bring exciting digital content to customers across our platforms.”

“We set up juggernaut to find a new kind of reading and a new kind of reader for a changing India,” said Chiki Sarkar, Co-Founder, Juggernaut Books.

“That’s why we felt very strongly about doing something original and imaginative with the coronavirus and the country going in lockdown and people spending more time on their screens.”

E-books may be a better option for many smartphone users who traditionally favor video content due to the congestion seen on mobile networks over the last two days.

Besides e-books, Amazon has also temporarily made children’s audio books accessible for free on its Audible app.

In an attempt to address the congestion issue, a host of video players in India, including market leaders such as Youtube, Hotstar and Amazon, yesterday announced that they are temporarily suspending HD video streaming to prevent mobile networks from being congested.

Some of the books being made free as part of this initiative are:

•   The CEO Factory by Sudhir Sitapati 
•   Bottle of Lies by Katherine Eban
•   Early Indians by Tony Joseph
•   Mind Without Fear by Rajat Gupta 
•   Pyjamas are Forgiving by Twinkle Khanna 
•   12 Week Fitness Project by Rujuta Diwekar 
•   Kohinoor by William Dalrymple
•   Century is not Enough by Sourav Ganguly 
•   Good Economics by Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo