Student entrepreneur creates online reader’s community


Kelly Wynne, Features Editor

Second-year College of DuPage student Jacob Wisniewski has begun to create a website, and future app, designed to bring users together based on books they have read. The website, titled Bookcase, is designed with the hopes of becoming a social networking site where users can exchange book recommendations, create lists of future reads and even purchase their next selection.

The idea came to Wisniewski while searching through blog posts in order to find a new book to read. Bookcase is not directed at a certain target audience, but can be used to connect those with common majors, careers or simply taste in reading material.

Wisniewski feels that his idea is well formed, but he has yet to find his footing in the design and Web-management world.

“Starting off, I had to teach myself how to make a website,” said Wisniewski. “This is something I am completely teaching myself. At the beginning of the idea I didn’t know any of it so it’s kind of a slow process.”

Part of the uphill battle may be Wisniewski is designing and launching the website single-handedly. He feels, at a community college, it can be difficult to find those with similar interests in order to form business partnerships.


“It can be a little intimidating,” said Wisniewski. “That’s why a lot of people who have big ideas never act upon them. It can be a big hurdle to tackle that idea.”

Throughout the learning curve, Wisniewski has stuck with his ideas. This has helped him to dream up possible features that differentiate the site from other on the web. Bookcase will be based on discussion instead of centering on reviews, giving it a fresh take on typical bookstore review pages. The finished product will also have a link to Amazon so users are only one click away from purchasing their next read.

As “Bookcase” nears a possible release, Wisniewski hopes to inspire readers, as well as non-readers, by creating an environment where reading is widely accepted.

“I do hope it can turn non-readers into readers as well,” said Wisniewski in an email. “I know reading is seen as uncool for a lot of people in our age group, so even if somebody does read, it’s not something they talk about a whole lot. So I hope that adding a social aspect to reading will help people find books that they would love, whether it be books similar to TV shows they love, or books that leaders in the industry that they are interested in are reading.”

Although the final product of Bookcase has yet to roll out, those interested can visit and enter their email to become part of the intial beta testing. Future users can also follow Bookcase on Twitter, @mybookcaseapp, for release updates.