Sunday, March 10, 2013

Bookshops Roundup

This is a bookshops roundup. While I am more than regular on, I also visit bookshops looking for fresh and variety books.  Most of the bookshops that I visit are based on the proximity to my living place.

@JP Nagar 3rd Phase - I was so excited when this bookshop opened about a couple of years back.  Has good collections. The staff are friendly but less knowledgeable about books. I met many of my friends their in this shop. There were sofas to sit and read the books but the management decided to remove them. There are less children magazines, and more adult (yes!) magazines. The bookshop collects feedback often but does not implement any.  I used to take my daughter and nephews to the shop during summer. The shop runs offer sales throughout the year but items are less exciting.  They used to invite book authors - I met Tony Buzan here. 
@Koramangala - This one was a surprise when I first visited the Medimix group's hotel Cholayil Sanjeevanam and FabIndia.  Most of the comments above are applicable.
Sapna Bookhouse, Jayanagar
This shop must be everyone's favourite. It has everything like stationery, latest books, text books etc. Always crowded. The books for children are cheaper.  One of the few shops that has regional (Kannada only) books. I have once met Robin Sharma and got his book autographed here.

Landmark, Forum Mall
One of my favourite desitnation for books. If I visit Forum, its either for PVR or Landmark. Until four months back, they had two floors. When I visited yesterday, the shop has only one floor. The one at Level 1 is occupied by WestSide which again has a new avatar.  The new renewed Landmark shop has new look and feel but for the book lovers, the space is obviously reduced. The home items have vanished and is replaced by sports and fitness items.
@Garuda Mall - There was one and I used to frequent. Suddenly the showroom was closed.
@Gopalan Mall - The Gopalan Mall at Bannerghatta Road website keeps displaying Landmark Bookstore as one of the shops, but I could ever find one.

Reliance Timeout, JP Nagar
This shop was never creative, always wore a deserted look despite seasonal offers. When I visited last week, the 2nd floor is permanently closed. Death of a bookshop!

The ad that made me glad yesterday
When I moved into Bangalore 15 years back, this was my favourite. I used to spend time in Gangarams, Higginbothams, Planet Music, Food World, and Hotel Brindavan in the weekends (before getting married).
Was sad to learn that bookshop was vanishing due to Metro work at MG Road. But yesterday's ad came as a welcome news.  I should go and explore in the coming weekends.
During the academic project days and job search days, I used to visit Higginbothams at Anna Salai, Chennai. I first saw my hero Tony Robbins's books there only.  I often prayed that this bookshop in Railway stations opens 24 x 7 - they don't. I visited the Chennai branch last year - I feel the legacy is lost. The Bangalore branch at MG Road - I would say instead of Gangarams, it would have been nice if Higginbothams is gone. They dont deserve a place anymore. The lustre is lost!

Prism Book Shop
This one is opposite to the Cool Joint, Jayanagar 4th block - I dont understand what is the theme and uniqueness this bookshop has. Never crowded, No attraction.

Motilal Banarsidass
@Jayanagar 3rd Block - This one is a good bookshop for the religiously and spiritually inclined. Sad thing is they are closed on Sundays.

My general concern is that these bookshops should not die. I visit to buy books even if the sales are not there. All the online sites of these bookshops do offer discount but do not anything different to attract the visitors. They should do something very different to attract new readers.  I hate seeing in displays all the popular and hot books - the old and rare books should also be promoted enough.

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