The smell of fresh print, the feel of crisp pages and the glaze of new covers staring from swanky bookstores are endearing of course, but dear at the same time. So, for those who value words more than the look of the book, there are some hot dog-ear deals around town. Used-book bazaars, flea shops that sell second hand titles, stationery stores which circulate discarded prints… we’re sure you’ll find one in your area!
Mostly frequented by the college kids, this market, located in the heart of Chandni Chowk, is popular for second-hand school and college books. From popular guides such as the ABC and the MBD series to fat reference books, which can otherwise take a toll on one’s pocket, everything’s available at half the original price. Visit Divya Prakashan Book store for second-hand fashion magazines and catalogues.
Where: Near Town Hall, Chandni Chowk
Timings: 9am to 6pm
Nearest Metro station: Chandni Chowk
R K Book Stall, Vasant Vihar
This 20-year-old book stall has nothing glamourous, but if you are a true bibliophile, this is where you’ll be seen hanging around. All kinds of comic books, from Phantom to Tintin, romances and novels to magazines can be found here. You’ll also find all the latest titles and the usual best sellers. The prices depend on how well you bargain.
Where: Basant Lok, Vasant Vihar
Timings: 11am to 8pm
Nearest Metro station: Saket
Anjali Book World, Lajpat Nagar
Though it stocks more than two lakh books, this 11-year-old book store is unknown to many. Who would imagine that such a bookstore is situated bang in the middle of Lajpat Nagar’s Central Market, which is frequented only for its fashionable flea stuff! The collection is overwhelming. From Julia Child’s recipes to Mozart’s letters to Monika Lewinski’s scandals, there’s a book to please every reader. A lucky day could get you the first edition of a William Styron too. You can grab your copy of Mills & Boon for R25.
Where: Central Market, Lajpat Nagar
Timings: 10am to 8pm
Nearest Metro station: Lajpat Nagar
Anil Book Store, Connaught Place
Connaught Place is well known for its pavement booksellers, but most of them deal in unused books. So, if you need a second-hand copy, visit Anil Book Corner next to PVR Plaza. The small bookstore has rows of dog-eared prints waiting to be re-read. From Archies comics to magazines and fiction, there’s a lot of variety in there. If you want more, some garment shop owners at the mouth of the Janpath flea market also stock the stuff for almost half the original price.
Where: Connaught Place
Timings: 11am to 7.30 pm
Nearest Metro station: Rajiv Chowk
Bungalow Road, Kamla Nagar
Despite the limited collection of books here, the sellers ensure that they have all the popular authors in stock. You are likely to see college students crowding these shops all the time. You would very conveniently find a Danielle Steel, Sydney Sheldon or Paulo Coelho there. The prices: R80- R150.This is also a great option to get a good return on old books you’ve wanted to sell off since long.
Where: Kamla Nagar
Timings: 10.30am to 9pm
Nearest Metro station: Vishvidyalaya
Sunday Bazaar, Daryaganj
This is the baap of the family. Over 200 booksellers put up their stalls on the streets of the Old Delhi market each Sunday. From rare titles to encyclopedias and regional literature to historical chronicles, name it and you find it, at throwaway prices. Exercise your bargaining skills and fill your bag for as less as Rs 10-Rs 200. The weekly bazaar is flocked by bibliophiles from all age groups. The barter system — one book in lieu of another — is also rampant here.
Where: Main Daryaganj Market
Timings: 9am to 5pm
Nearest Metro station: Chawri Bazar
Tips to get the best deal
Keep an eye for misprinted and missing pages
Check the name of the author and publication
Never pay more than half the original price, it’s second hand, after all
Check the year of publishing to guess the real price of the book if not printed