Lost between the pages

Old world

Book lovers spent hours soaking in the smell of books and would probably never imagine being asked to leave the shop, unless the shutters had to be put down for the night. 

With some big retail shops rushing customers to buy their books and leave, where can the City’s bookworms just sit and read a novella or a comic?

“I have never faced a situation where I’ve been asked not to sit and read. But then, I prefer sticking to the older shops where there’s no provision for sitting. The stools are just there to browse at leisure or to reach the higher shelves,” says Nikhil Jois, who needs to visit a bookstore or two at least once every fortnight.

“The book shopping experience is incomplete in certain shops because they are usually located in malls,” he adds. There are places which don’t approve of customers lingering around for too long without a sale being made at the end of their visit.  But one can find solace in the fact that there will always be dedicated bookstores which are not thriving on commercialisation.

“We wanted to rediscover bookstores of yesterday where people went into the store and the book shouted out at you from the shelf. Nowadays, it’s all very impersonal — people go into the store to buy ‘x’ book, pay and leave. If you don’t spend time there, how will you find a book that you never knew existed?” asks Abishek Laxminarayan, managing director, Page Turners.

 “Another reason why we make our stores a cosy, warm space for booklovers is because there is aninteraction between like-minded people. Maybe you bump into someone who can suggest some must-read titles. If the comfort and ambience isn’t there, the customer is better off ordering a book online,” he explains
further.

Another household name among book lovers of the City is Blossoms Book House on Church Street. “As soon as a bookworm enters the store, they start smiling and say that it feels like home. We’ve purposely arranged books in a manner where you have to browse at your own leisure to find the books that you want to hold on to. The chairs we provide may be small but our customers can sit as long as they want,” says Mayigowda, the store owner.

 Since its inception 10 years ago, it has been known as the best place to find second-hand books. And it definitely prides itself in that fact!

Such a bookstore may not be possible to imitate everywhere and so, the bigger ones aren’t altogether a bad option. “I’m a regular bookstore browser and a sucker for sales. I haven’t been irritated out of any big bookstores in Bangalore yet!” shares Deepak Rajanikanth.

“My ideal bookstore would serve hot chai and samosas, have music playing in the background and let me sit there and browse books all day,” he notes.
 The next time you get lonely, just go over to that good old bookstore you love and visit your old friends. And for the love of the written words, make sure you protest if you’re asked to leave before you think you’ve had enough.

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