Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Old Label, Gold Label

I have lived in Bhopal since I was six.  It was in this city that I first fell in love, with books. When I had first walked into that shop above, it used to stock only books, and some greeting cards. With time, the shop got a few face-lifts, started retailing all kinds of gift items, music records et al. However, one thing that never changed, over the course of the last sixteen years, was the ability of its proprietor to make book shopping enjoyable. Ever since I started visiting the store to buy those 125-page illustrated abridged classics, he has helped me hunt books. As I grew older, he would recommend books, of various genres, that might be to my liking. Most of all, he knew the books. Despite having not visited for the past couple of years, when I walked into the store a couple of days back, he still remembered me, along with the books I used to like. In Chennai for the past five years, being a life-long bookaholic, I still frequent bookstores. However the experience of shopping for books at Odyssey or Landmark or Crosswords hardly compares to shopping at the bookstores in my hometown. While the range of books is definitely way more exhaustive, I miss the whole personal touch that Variety Gallery or Books World used to offer back home. I miss being asked my opinion on books I have read recently, I miss being offered advice on what to read in a particular genre. But most of all I miss being treated as a fellow book lover.


  1. Now that you asked me to comment, can't help notice that the last few posts have been very similar. Reminisces and stuff like that. Thoda change karo na. :)

  2. Well I agree being a book crazy person myself this difference between old and new strikes me too. But this is the way world is moving.