Street-side: A treasure trove for book lovers in Delhi

  • Yash Chansoria, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Jun 22, 2015 16:49 IST

The capital is home to several lanes that are little-known treasures of books. It is also home to people who love to read, many of whom are high school and college students who save their pocket money to buy books written by their favourite authors.

What if we told you that you could get those books for half the price, or three books for the price of one? Here is a list of five places where, with a little bit of patience and a lot of bargaining, you can pick up your favourite reads.

Bargain Book Store at Janpath

While it’s a popular shopping haven for those who love a good bargain for clothes, shoes, garments and what not, the street also boasts of a great bookstore called Bargain Book Store. The name is enough, right? The shop is very easy to miss to keep your eyes peeled. This bookstore specialises in second-hand books and depending on the time of the year, has different discount offers. And if you return a book you bought from them, they even knock off half the price.

(Pranav Digwal/HT photo)

“ Rs 400 for a book is not affordable for school and college going students, hence the deal,” says the owner, Subhash Kashyap. The collection they have includes popular authors like Jeffery Archer and Salman Rushdie, and modern-day classics like the Da Vinci Code. The possibility of finding lesserknown authors is low but the offers here make it worth your while.
Where: Shop number 1, New mini market, Janpath.

Gyan Deep Book Shop, Kamla Nagar
Situated near the North Campus of Delhi University, the Kamla Nagar market has everything from course study books to fiction to self-help books and religious texts. The Gyan Deep book depot, a small book shop here, sells books of all kinds for very reasonable rates. The titles include a vast variety of modern-day Indian authors, religious books like the Ramayana, etc. The shop also trades in second-hand books, so it’s not surprising to find a lot of students buying or selling them during the afternoons. On most days, there is a discount of more than 30% on the books and if you think that’s great, you’ll love the fact that you can borrow a book for a small amount.
Where: 165 D, Chota Golchakkar, Kamla Nagar.

Jackson Book Shop, Paharganj Market

Also known as the backpackers’ ghetto, the bazaar of Paharganj consists of books left behind by foreign travellers to cut down luggage. Needless to say, the variety of books available here is large, especially if you’re looking for multilingual books. One of the shops here, Jackson Book Shop, specialises in selling books in more than 30 languages, such as French, German, Italian, Spanish and even Hebrew.

(Pranav Digwal/HT photo)

"Most of our customers are foreigners, who are interested in reading about Indian mythology, philosophy and Indian culture. So we have a large collection of books like Amar Chitra Katha. But we also keep a few books for the local buyers," says the owner, Deepak.

Where: 5106, Main bazaar, Paharganj.

Ber Sarai Market
Located near IIT Delhi, the Ber Sarai market is a gold mine of academic books. From course books to previous years’ papers and even assignments, students will find everything they need here. The prices are extremely low because in most cases, the books belong to ex-students or are duplicate copies that have a page or two missing. The shopkeepers also offer to ‘help’ you with your assignment, but they charge unreasonable amounts for it. Shyam Book Store is one such place. A modest looking shop, it has the perfect collection of second-hand books for the students of IIT and JNU.
Where: Behind F 44, Ber Sarai bus stand.

Big Book Bazaar at Daryaganj

If you want to purchase a book here, the price of the book does not matter. What matters is the weight. That’s right. For Rs 200, you can get a kilo of stories. The books here are not arranged by genres or author names but by their cost per kilo. Novels for children can be purchased at Rs 150 per kg. A book that will cost you Rs 500 in a bookstore, can be bought at a paltry Rs 70.

(Manoj Verma/HT Photo/)

"We are not profit-driven, the aim of this scheme is to make books available to everyone," says Mayank Jain, owner of Big Book Bazaar. What’s more, unlike the other book stalls at Daryaganj, this place remains open seven days a week.

Where: Netaji Subhash Marg, Daryaganj.

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