Landmark Higginbothams is back

Landmark Higginbothams is back

The city's oldest bookstore, Higginbothams, is back in a new, refurbished avatar on M G Road. However, its iconic Greek Palladium exterior remains intact, rekindling the old Bengalurean's nostalgic linkage with an age gone by.

The digital generation mostly stood aside as curtains went up on Saturday. But the hardcore book buffs were there in good number, savouring the rebirth of a tradition they had long learnt to admire.

More airy and inviting, the bookstore now showcases children’s literature on the ground floor. The first floor has a special section on Karnataka taking its place among the classics, graphic novels and other works of fiction and non-fiction.

Connecting MG Road and Church Street, the book store also has a passageway with a courtyard, where a coffee shop is likely to come up. The passage gives visitors a glimpse of the store’s history spanning over 100 years. The courtyard will eventually transform as a space for book launches, readings and other literary activities.

Abel Joshua Higginbotham had launched the first Higginbothams store in Chennai. That was in 1884, 21 years before the second store emerged on South Parade Road (later MG Road) in 1905.

The bookstore quickly beckoned army chiefs, leaders of state, royalty and educational pioneers. As it gained in prominence, the likes of actors Amitabh Bachchan, Dilip Kumar and cricketer Sunil Gavaskar came calling. Renovation of the iconic bookstore was taken up 18 months ago.  

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