A few days ago, Amith Kumar introduced me to a rather unusual bookshop in Jayanagar—Book Bonanza.
I have always been a lover of second-hand books, Somehow, these, to me, have the lustre of the previous owner, in addition to their contents, and so are greater treasures than usual.
When I walked into the bookstore, I was quite thrilled to see books stacked up along all the walls, and piled up along bookshelves, too.
All sorts of books, fiction and non-fiction, best-sellers as well as arcane treatises, jostled each other, and in front of it all sat the young man who owns the store, and has been running it since 2006 (and at the present location for the past two years.)
A passion for books made Tipu Pasha give up his job with a multi-national company, and set up shop with an investment of Rs. 2 lakhs, which he used to import books from Europe and the US. He bought 40 tons of books, which might have retailed for 22-25 lakhs!
He still continues this practice, and so the bookstore deals only in English titles.
The unusual part of the bookstore is that 95% of the books are sold by weight. The other 5%, are the brand new books, which are still sold at about 50% discount over their retail prices.
“The response has been quite good from the beginning,” says a smiling Tipu, nodding to several people who, starting as customers and browsers, have now become friends. “I have quite a group of regulars, and the people who come in to browse and buy are a very heterogeneous lot– scientists looking for reference books, artists, writers, ad designers, children, parents…”
What he enjoys is the personal interaction with all these people, as well as being able to help them with their requirements as he knows exactly what books are where.
Apart from this, he says, several lending libraries also come here to source books. “I am also called in as a consultant by many schools to design and stock their libraries,” he adds.
How has he, as the owner of a bookstore, felt the impact of e-books and online reading? “There has been an impact, no doubt,” he remarks, “But people still seem to like the actual feel of a book in their hands, and I have no complaints!” Many people, he says, often also come and exchange books at the store…a facility not offered anywhere else.
If you would like to go to a store where you can browse around, find some books that you like, and buy them by weight, go to: Book Bonanza, 532, 32nd Cross, 11th Main Road, Jayanagar 4th Block, Bangalore 560011 (Landmarks: KFC and Metro Footwear are right opposite the shop, which is close to the Jayanagar 4th Block signal).
Proprietor: Tipu Pasha, Mobile no: 97413 25687, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.