Most bibliophiles can sympathize: At some point, your avid reader status translates into overloaded bookshelves sagging under the weight of brick-like tomes and paperbacks. They take up space. They're heavy to move from apartment to apartment. And in Vancouver—where condos and townhomes are increasingly small—they literally occupy valuable real estate. That's why I was intrigued and excited to learn of local start-up bitlit.com.The concept behind BitLit is simple. You take a photo of a book's cover and its copyright page with your name printed on it very clearly to prove you own the book. You upload both photos. Once your ownership of the book is verified, you get the downloadable e-book at a fraction of its original price and you can read it on the device of your choice.
As BitLit founder Peter Hudson puts it, "BitLit is an affordable way for people to digitize their libraries. I live in Gastown in a great loft (lots of big walls to cover with bookshelves). But I know lots of Vancouverites live in small spaces or who have downsized from a house to a condo for retirement. Finding space for all those books can be a challenge."
Although BitLit's collection of titles is currently at 20,000 (compared to Amazon's 1 million plus), that collection is growing all the time. All of this had me thinking: If we could digitize our entire libraries, what would we do with our bookcases? Here are 4 ideas/fantasies.
1. Display mementos and framed prints and stash away files in your home office.
2. Create a bar area and stock up on liquor and glamorous barware. (For more ideas on bar areas, check out this bar cart post I did a while ago.)
3. Add extra storage for coats, shoes, and bags by your entryway.
4. Two words: shoe closet.
P.S. This blog post was possible thanks to the VP Marketing Communications at BitLit, Ovey Yeung, who brought the start-up's concept to my attention. Those of you who live in Vancouver, or whose paths have intersected with Ovey's through fashion or tech, have probably heard about the terrible hit-and-run accident which has left Ovey hospitalized in intensive care.
My thoughts are with Ovey and her loved ones while she fights through this. For those who are interested in helping out, an Indiegogo campaign has been set up to raise money for recovery costs.