I love bookstores. If there’s one place that can help you think clearly, I believe it has to be a bookstore. I’m still getting accustomed to the idea of people reading from a Kindle, let alone others making purchases through online retail stores. The very idea of books will always transport me to a bookstore that has stories of all kinds. Stories that speak of unique experiences, stories from around the world, and stories that matter to people who have written them. The quiet lanes of bookshelves, the peculiar smell of old and new books and an unexplainable satisfaction of being around a thousand books is an emotion that only a book enthusiast will relate to.
Bangalore’s bookstores have caught the attention of many readers. It is seen as a paradise for people who dwell in the world of stories. These bookstores proudly boast of housing some of the finest classics that locals have thronged to since their very inception. They have survived for many years and have still maintained their own charm.
If you happen to be a newbie in the city, then these bookstores will help you find any book that is on the top of your mind.
1. Blossoms Book House
If you have ample time to spare in Church street, we suggest you visit Blossoms Book House. Bangalore’s most loved and sought-after bookstore houses close to 3,00,000 books and has two stores in the same area.
Started in 2001 by Mayi Gowda, Blossoms Book House was barely a 200-square feet space for books. For the longest time, I only explored half the space until a friend pointed out that the store had an extension which further lengthened to lanes that looked like secret tunnel openings. Several shelves shelter books ranging from science fiction, literary fiction and non-fiction, books on cinema and theatre, children’s books, comics, travel, philosophy, food and so many more.
2. Gangaram’s Book Bureau
Also located on Church Street, Gangaram’s Book Bureau has been another favourite bookstore among the locals. Started in 1965 by Nanumal Gangaram and his son Atmaram Gangaram, it was originally called Bangalore Book Bureau. It was later shifted to MG Road in 1977 selling music. It now sells only books with a vivid collection of children’s books, regional language books, academics etc.
The bookstore has welcomed several noted public figures like Girish Karnad, Suhel Seth, N. R Narayana Murthy and many more. Say a hello to Atmaram Gangaram at the bookstore who is always happy to help customers with any specific book that they’re looking for.
3. Goobe’s Book Republic
Located opposite Church Street Social, you’re likely to miss this bookstore that has a narrow staircase leading to what looks like a basement. The raw exposed brick structure, bamboo sticks and wooden shelves anchored with sturdy jute ropes make Goobe’s stand apart from all the other bookstores you’ve visited.
Started in 2008 by Ravi Menezes, the store reflects genres of its owner’s choice that is especially curated by him. Goobe’s Book Republic has an eclectic collection of books in regional literature and science fiction that you may only find here. The bookstore is often looking out for book recommendations that they can display diversity for readers of all kinds.
4. Champaca Bookstore, Library and Café
The idea to open a bookstore occurred to Radhika Timbadia, the founder of Champaca Bookstore, Library and Café when she was reading the book reviews of a few award-winning women authors whose book she was unable to find. These books were unique to Radhika as they were written with immense honesty. From there brewed the idea of opening a bookstore that would have a diverse collection of books for readers like her.
Champaca is situated on Queens Road and has a stunning collection of books in-house as well as on their online store. They have a cozy café as well which is the perfect idea of spending a day alone or with friends in the company of hundreds of books, good food and a hot cup of coffee. They also conduct book launches, poetry reading sessions and children’s programs very often.
5. Aakruti Books
Started 7 years ago by Guruprasad D.N, Aakruti books intends on promoting local culture through its books. The store sells graphic novels, Kannada fiction, children’s books and many other genres but the sole focus is to encourage readers to experience the other side of regional literature.
Over the years, these bookstores have felt the presence of online giants taking precedence at some point. But they’ve sailed through and have flourished maintaining their own identity. Though the evolution of technology has provided alternatives of purchasing books and reading them, the existence of bookstores show how much people are willing to see them sustain. We hope this continues.