Sunday, April 25, 2004

second hand bookstores

I have been getting a lot of google searches looking for second hand book stores, so I hereby present an annotated guide to used bookstores in Bangalore.
1. BLOSSOMS book store is by far the best one I have seen in Bangalore. It is situated opposite Amoeba on Church street, you can't miss it: it has a huge signboard and the largest organized collection of fiction that I've seen. I went there when they were inaugurating the new store, and the books were arranged a bit haphazardly, but I'm sure with time it will easily be competing with regular bookstores. The books are a bit expensive when it comes to used books, but the manager there is happy to point out an older but cheaper version of the same book, so if you’re lucky, you might wind up with a real bargain
2. SELECT book store: the reigning king of used book stores in Bangalore; everybody swears by this one. This store is off Brigade road, as you come down Brigade Road from MG Road, take the first left and keep walking till you reach the dead end. You will find books here that you’ve never heard of, but also rare and out of print stuff. The owner is always helpful in tracking books you want. On the minus side, books are usually quite expensive, but in excellent condition. Expect lots of hardback versions here.
3. BOOK BAZAAR: This is a nondescript shop hidden in one of the small alleyways on MG Road, next to Deepam Silks. The store keeps slightly erratic timings, but evenings are a safe bet. You will find the regular jumble of various genres all well and thoroughly mixed up. Prices are good, but condition might vary. Also it's quite a pain to browse around, since it's usually one pile behind another
4. BOOK FAIR: This store is located in the basement, under Calypso music shop in Jayanagar fourth block. The collection is quite extensive, though tending towards pulp and classics. Prices are quite high, but the books are in excellent condition.
5. I forget this one's name. It is situated next to Hot Chips, in Jayanagar fourth block. The collection is so-so, mostly pulp, but you can find an odd classic tucked away.
6. Pavement book sellers: I've decided to club them together in this section. Good ones are:
-opposite Food World and India Coffee House, both on MG Road,
-opposite Kempegowda Bus stand (the main bus stand), near the police station this one has a good fiction collection, but because there is no protection, books are often in bad shape,
-several along Sampige Road, look to the left while heading up to Malleshwaram,
-several along Balepet road, but this has a rather limited collection of fiction, though I picked up a lot of my science fiction collection from around here
7. For text books, the Avenue Road area is the best.