App helps students find textbooks nearby

student voice

Rushi Amin developed an app to help UIC students find and sell textbooks. “It makes it easier for students to get the books they need,” he says.

Wish you could scroll through a feed to find affordable textbooks?

A UIC student created a mobile application that can do just that: Boon App, which helps students find or sell textbooks to others within a 100-mile radius.

“It makes it easier for students to get the books they need for class, sell the books they don’t need and find cheaper ones,” said Rushi Amin, sophomore in computer science and chief marketing officer and developer of Boon App.

Boon App is modeled after Instagram, the popular photo- and video-sharing app.

The app is available to students at UIC and the University of Louisville, where app co-founder Ricky Patel is a student. Another co-founder is Abram Deng, a 2014 Spalding University graduate.

Version 1.0 is accessible on iTunes and is compatible with iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.

The app lets students create a unique user profile to buy or sell textbooks within minutes. Users can upload a photo of their textbook, search for an ISBN number or take a picture of the book’s barcode to automatically generate book details.

Students then share, sell, scroll and save.

“Books come up on your actual home feed and you can scroll through them,” Amin said.

Each photo has a short description, detailing the book’s price and condition. Users can also rate buyers and sellers, much like Amazon’s seller feedback option.

Other features include a book search bar, chat options to avoid sharing personal contact information, same-day book delivery and wish lists that notify users when someone within 100 miles is selling a book they want.

Sellers won’t be charged listing or selling fees, Amin said.

“It’s all transacted between the person and the buyer,” he said. “There’s no middleman. We’re just creating a database for users.”

The team hopes to reel in more sponsors, making the app available to Android users and eventually build a nationwide e-commerce and exchange platform for college students.

“We have high hopes for this,” Amin said.

For more information on Boon App, email or visit the company’s Facebook page (

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