Don’t we all love indie booksellers?
Many of my happiest childhood memories revolve around bookstores. Growing up in Amritsar, we had Rajat Book Depot that stocked a selection of children’s books that never fulfilled my voracious appetite. Then there was Booklovers Retreat but I was left hankering for more.
The school library had its books locked up behind shiny glass-fronted cabinets. Left not-so-shiny with little nose smudges across the glass where I squished my face and gazed adoringly at the spines.
Summer and winter holidays always meant trips to Delhi. And that’s where heaven could be found.
I’d save up all my pocket money, add on the extra holiday spend and worry all the way in the train or car ride about the number of books I could possibly manage to buy. Teksons bookstore and Full Circle were those warm, cozy, wrap-me-in-a-hug places. They were my wonderland. My dream spaces. My joyful shiver down the spine as I stepped through their doors.
As a mother, I realise how glorious these bookstores are. What treasures they have held for my children! How wonderful it is to walk into a store and have a person who knows their books, chat with your child and help her discover a previously unknown book on their shelves.
As an author, I am ever thankful to this wonderful tribe of people who not only form the bedrock of this industry, but are truly passionate about children’s books. They thrive on the joy it brings to a child and can chat with you at length, pulling out one book after another to tell you what they loved about it. They are the crucial and final link to a book reaching its reader. (Seen here is me doing the Karate Kut Krazies Method at Kahani Tree, Mumbai, a oh-so-lovely book store and a packed house for a reading session at Kitab Khana bookstore, Mumbai, another one where you can cosy up in a corner and fill your basket.)
What better way to celebrate them than to know more about these independent booksellers across our country. Not just their names but the stories behind their stores. Their cosy corners, the funny incidents that take place within their walls and lots more. Most importantly, to support them, particularly during this difficult time.
Stay tuned as I bring you, over the next few weeks, THE STORIES BEHIND INDIE STORES!
Do share this forward! Image in support of supporting independent bookstores created by me! I hope you like it!