In an age of e-readers, there are still those who are drawn to reading books, the old fashioned way.
On the corner of a street, at the five-way intersection near the iconic Flora Fountain, is a nearly 60 years old book lover's paradise. From the rarest classics to modern bestsellers, from fiction to non-fiction, poetry to academic, originals to second hand copies, you can find it all here.
For most, this stretch of the pavement is just piles of books in disarray, amid the noise and heat, lining a chaos-filled street of a bustling metropolis.
It's not easy to look for anything without assistance in these columns of books. Bibliophiles are left defenceless, lured by that special book-smell, and search till they have found just the right read.
The sellers are well versed with the books and authors, and are extremely polite. If you want to return a purchase, the seller returns half (sometimes even more than half) the price you paid.
"I am an avid reader and have come to the book market looking for books by some of my favorite Indian authors such as Tagore, Arundhati Roy, R. K. Narayan, and Jhumpa Lahiri among others. I was also recently introduced to the work of Amitav Ghosh through my father and I was happy to find some of his books at the book market”, said Halima, a regular visitor of these shops.
Unlike other markets, there’s no noise and no shoving of wares in your face. You can read in peace, and tune out the chaos all around you.
How to get there:
This place is a mere five minute walk from Churchgate Railway Station, and a 20 minutes walk from the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus. While the walk is scenic, and definitely recommended, if you're not in the mood, we'd suggest you hail a cab.
Visiting the book street on a Sunday afternoon might surprise you, it has an ambience better than most book stores in the city.
All photographs were taken by the author.
Updated Date: Jul 21, 2017 13:20 PM