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Online platform PiBo aims to improve children’s enthusiasm in reading

Ni Nyoman Wira
Ni Nyoman Wira

The Jakarta Post

Jakarta | Thu, September 21, 2017 | 12:10 pm
Online platform PiBo aims to improve children’s enthusiasm in reading

By downloading e-reader app 'Baca PiBo', children can read the e-book on tablet or smartphone even when they are offline. (Shutterstock/File)

PiBo, an online bookstore and e-reader app, was officially launched at Kopi Kalyan, South Jakarta, on Wednesday, Sept. 20. Said to be Indonesia’s first online bookstore that is specifically made for children, PiBo aims to encourage kids to read with quality reading materials.

PiBo, which is the abbreviation of Picture Books, is founded by illustrator Mayumi Haryoto and graphic designer Aisha Habir who are concerned with children’s books and their contents in Indonesia. Mayumi explained that many online bookstores are lacking specific categories for said books. “In fact, reading materials for a 3-year-old child is different from those for 8-year-olds,” Mayumi gave an example.

(from left to right) Founder of PiBo Mayumi Haryoto and co-founder of PiBo Aisha Habir during the official launching of online bookstore and e-reader app for children PiBo on Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017 at Kopi Kalyan in South Jakarta.(from left to right) Founder of PiBo Mayumi Haryoto and co-founder of PiBo Aisha Habir during the official launching of online bookstore and e-reader app for children PiBo on Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017 at Kopi Kalyan in South Jakarta. (JP/Ni Nyoman Wira)

Currently, PiBo has almost a hundred titles on its virtual library that are grouped based on children’s age and themes. It has e-books for children of all ages or specifically from three to 12 years old, while the themes range from animals and fantasy to emotion. Some of the examples are Pohon Belimbing yang Baik Hati (A Kind Star-fruit Tree), Hata Suka Durian (Hata Loves Durian) and Tanganku Tidak untuk Memukul (My Hand is not for Hitting). Majority of these books are presented in the Indonesian language.

“One of the ways to improve children’s enthusiasm in reading is by having an interest in the theme,” said Mayumi. “If children don’t have any interests at all, they won’t be able to understand.”

Currently, PiBo has almost a hundred titles on its virtual library that are grouped based on children’s age and themes. It has books for children of all ages or specific from three to 12 years old, while the themes range from animals and fantasy to emotion.Currently, PiBo has almost a hundred titles on its virtual library that are grouped based on children’s age and themes. It has books for children of all ages or specific from three to 12 years old, while the themes range from animals and fantasy to emotion. (mypibo.com/File)

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Those who want to read PiBo’s e-books should first register on its official website. At the same website, they also can explore the virtual library and download the e-book. After that, users can read it via e-reader app Baca Pibo that is currently available on Android only. Once the e-book is downloaded, they can enjoy it on a tablet or a smartphone even when they are offline. Furthermore, the app also remembers where the users left off in their last reading session. The average price for the e-book starting from Rp 20,000 ($1). In addition to that, PiBo also releases some of its e-books into printed version that can be delivered to its customers.

Regarding the e-book form, Aisha said PiBo does not want to compete against the printed books. “We just want to be one of the alternatives and we’d like to underline that printed book is irreplaceable,” Aisha said. “PiBo can be an additional channel that helps in terms of distribution, time and access. Children or parents cannot always bring 5-10 books at once, especially when they’re traveling. But with PiBo, it can be solved because they can read it anytime, anywhere.”

PiBo also releases some of its e-books into printed version that can be delivered to its customers, one of them is 'Hata Suka Durian ' (Hata Loves Durian).PiBo also releases some of its e-books into printed version that can be delivered to its customers, one of them is 'Hata Suka Durian ' (Hata Loves Durian). (JP/Ni Nyoman Wira)

Mayumi said that they have gathered publishers, who share the same vision, mission and concern toward children’s books, to submit their works on PiBo. “It’s not only publishers but also self-publisher and individuals,” Mayumi stated. However, although they accept works from various publishers, all of the contents had been curated beforehand.

As for its future development, both Mayumi and Aisha want to have a subscription system where the users only need to pay monthly in order to access the books, reward systems that give the children specific title once they have finished their reading goals, one parent account for different profiles so that their children will be able to download different books that suit their specific interest and audio books. (asw)

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