Sifting through a bundle of books in Nai Sarak, Chandani Chowk, Surendra
Bajaj, a septuagenarian, digs out what he calls a ‘Hindi Urdu teacher’.
Rejoicing, and an expression of achievement on his face, he tells Metrolife, “My grandsons want to learn Urdu now. It’s just another whim that they have.
I know it’s not going to last long. But I still thought of looking for the two books, to teach them at home. You can find almost any book here.”
Unlike the tech-savvy generation that looks up to the internet for solutions to everything, Surendra likes to browse through different bookshops.
“How do you figure out if it is the book that you want without reading through it?” asks Surendra, sounding bewildered.
This World Book Day as UNESCO promotes reading, publishing and copyright on April 23, Metrolife speaks to Delhiites to figure out where they go to hunt and shop for their favourite books.
No points for guessing, Ber Sarai and Nai Sarak! Because those are two places that never run out of bibliophiles!
Areeba Nasir, a young author, shares her voracious appetite for books.
“I believe I have inherited the love for books from my parents and grandparents. I can’t sleep
unless I have gone through a few pages of a book.
I usually purchase books online, at times I do check out bookstores and also visit Sunday market at Daryaganj to pick up piles of novels.”
“I had tried reading a book on Goodreads few days back, but the feel you get when you hold the book in your hand and the smell of the pages is incomparable. Electronic devices are good for reading factual stuff only. I am a writer of electronic age, but I like people to read my paperback,” says the author of the novel, No Exit.
Chirag, a civil services aspirant says, “Being an avid reader, I love to read almost every type genre. There is a sudden change in the way this industry has been reshaping itself in the last few years.
I don't prefer reading a book on my iPad (though I have a good collection in it). It does give you an option to mark and annotate a book electronically, which is fascinating. But nothing can be compared to the joy of embracing a book in your hands.”
But, he adds, “If I am reading a new author, I do check the reviews on Goodreads. I eagerly wait for the Book Fair and spend all my savings in those five-six days.”
Striking a good bargain, Surbhi Kaul “likes to buy books from trusted street vendors, who know my taste exactly and also offer a good bargain. I always check the price of a book that I am going to buy from Flipkart first, and then always get it for a lower price from my local bhaiya.”
Pretty street smart that is! Hailing from a Hindi speaking belt, Anshuman Shekhar believes, “Goodreads and other such portals do not have any options for a Hindi or vernacular book reader as they don’t rate our books. So, I can only stick to traditional options, which I do not really mind at all.”