ipstori Creator, Ruth Resendiz, Wants People To Love Reading Again
When the pandemic hit, the Mexican book market saw print sales decline within the first half of February. By April it had plummeted 88.2 percent.
For former professor, Ruth Resendiz, the Mexican publishing crisis feels personal. The brains behind ipstori, Resendiz is on a mission to get people reading again.
“It was about 15 years ago that you started to see that [students] were not reading,” she told mitú.
In 2019 Mexico Daily News reported a noticeable decrease in reading practices following a recent survey. Results concluded that nearly half of respondents didn’t have time to read, while 21.7 percent showed no interest in reading.
Featured by Apple for Women’s History Month, Resendiz wants new readers to understand the power literature can offer. “There are a lot of writers that say literature can give you a sense of immortality,” she said.
ipstori is Resendiz’s love story to reading that started at a young age.
Resendiz’s fascination with literature began when she was eight after contracting the measles. Bedridden for two weeks the young girl began reading “Little Women” by Louisa May Alcott.
“I knew nothing about the United States and suddenly I was immersed in another family, in another era, in another culture, and that changed my life forever,” she said.
Resendiz continued saying: “With literature, you’re allowed to be unfaithful, you’re allowed to be in a lot of people’s arms.”
Resendiz created ipstori later in life with no tech experience.
Becoming an entrepreneur at 52, Resendiz launched ipstori in October 2019. With no prior tech experience she was passionate about getting stories into the hands of people everywhere. Despite facing challenges as a middle-aged woman in the field, Resendiz got help from her tech savvy children turning her solo passion into a family affair.
Considered “a Spotify for literature,” the app contains fictional short stories in genres ranging from romance to thrillers. Available on the App Store, each story has a reading time of one, three, five, or seven minutes.
One of Resendiz’s main focuses with ipstori is to highlight the emotional depth of a narrative. With a generation living on smartphones, Resendiz hopes this method of engagement sparks a change of attitude.
ipstori gives readers thousands of stories to read at any time.
As attention spans have declined with the rise of social media, Resendiz anticipates that reading short stories would eventually allow readers to adapt to longer novels.
“For me, a success story would be that someone that started with ipstori, [their] next stage is going to a library or to Kindle or buy a whole book,” she stated. “We don’t want to compete with books. We just want to give you this kind of starting ritual.”
During the pandemic, 71 percent of the Mexican population was on the internet. Thanks to the digital market, e-books and audiobooks are helping print bookstores regain sales, but not by much.
Luckily, more than 70,000 users engaged with ipstori reading ‘diversidad’ and ‘erotic’ genres that especially gained traction during the pandemic.
“When you’re surrounded by death in every sense, not just corporal death, but [the] death of a lot of things you need to control it with life,” Resendiz observes. “And what is more lively than [the] erotic?”
With over 200 authors writing for ipstori from all over Latin America, Resendiz is expanding the app’s range to include “tiny audibles” read by professional theater actors.
While the publishing crisis remains, Resendiz wants her app to “be that bridge between the creators and the possible readers.”
Reading, she says, is “the difference between being alive and just surviving.”
“We are made by stories, the stories of our parents, and the stories that we tell ourselves about ourselves,” Resendiz says.
The App Store featured ipstori for Women’s History Month.
READ: Many Native Languages Are Dying Off But Here’s How Indigenous Millennials Are Using Tech To Save Them
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