More bookstores in the city are attaching coffee shops to their premises in the tradition of American chains like Borders, Barnes and Noble. “A coffee corner at a bookstore is absolutely essential. That is why all our new stores will now ensure that reading and a cappuccino go together,” says Crossword Bookstore’s Aniyan Nair.
The current mark of six known bookstores having attached cafés is expected to double next year. The Crossword branch at the Inorbit Mall, Malad, will house a coffee shop by January. Juhu’s Granth Bookstore will have an attached coffee corner by January.
“The potent combination of books and coffee is here to stay. It certainly attracts more customers who can opt for a quick cookie or coffee break in the midst of browsing,” states Granth’s Sanjeev Pujari.
Crossword’s branch at Kemps’ Corner with Moshe’s as its central attraction is a favourite with city readers. A modern day literary cafe, Oxford Bookstore’s Cha Bar, also has regulars who choose from its variety of flavoured tea. Lesser-known Corner Bookstores in neighbourhood Baristas across the city too have their loyal clientele.
But all is not sugary sweet. Strand Book Stall’s PM Shenvi does not believe the café culture enhances a reader’s browsing experience. “We would rather display more titles for the benefit of serious readers than start a coffee corner if we had extra space.” Don’t customers ever ask for a cuppa? “If people want coffee, they should head to coffee shops,” he laughs.