Book swap
A resident at the book swap platform at the Oasis Mall Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: The overwhelming response to a free educational book swap programme amid the pandemic in the UAE has prompted organisers to extend the initiative by another month.

Montserrat Martin of BookHero, a Dubai-based company dealing with pre-owned books, said a free platform for residents to exchange educational books was launched at the Oasis Mall on August 9.

“The initiative was till August 29. But given the great response, it has now been extended till September 29.”

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She said the original ‘book4book” project was launched way back in 2016 to enable families who could not afford to buy new textbooks to pick them up on an exchange basis from the BookHero shelves at the mall.

When COVID-19 struck this year, the initiative gained a new significance.

Book Hero
Lujaine Burhan, 16, a Jordanian high school student Image Credit: Supplied

“This is a time when families can benefit from the platform more than ever. Those who have lost their jobs or are in a tight financial situation can avail books for free if they can prove the genuineness of their claims,” she said, adding that it is a free give-and-take arrangement otherwise.

“We encourage parents and students to help themselves and each other by exchanging relevant books. They can save money and help others also to benefit from their unwanted textbooks,” she said.

Such a practice also helps promote recycling, thus contributing in a small way to the protection of the environment, she added.

Lujaine Burhan, 16, a Jordanian high school student planning to study medicine, said, "I think this initiative benefits me and many others because it provides a huge variety of books. Not only that, but this initiative is eco-friendly, which I think is a major reason why people should support it. It’s also practical, and you can find some hidden gems when you’re going pre-owned book hunting."