In light of the current pandemic, books were classified as non-essential items and consequently publication and sales were indefinitely stalled. However, in the last couple of days, several independent booksellers have opened up in Delhi, Bangalore, Bhubhaneshwar and through the aid of Swiggy or Dunzo are reaching books to readers.
Here are some of the independent bookshops which have resumed operations:
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More good news for Book Lovers ! We opened our shops at Saket and Khan Market this morning and the world looks beautiful again ! Please swipe through for the numbers and details to have your books delivered or arrange pick up as you want. Sorry but no browsing inside the shops is allowed yet ! #Booksareessential #staysafestayhome #Readwithbahri @bahrisons_booksellers
Bahrisons Booksellers have been delivering from May 5 only in non-containment zones. You can call and place the order and delivery is mostly being done through Dunzo. However, the stores are not yet open.
Roli Books has started delivering books from the beginning of the month. “Like we used to, we are displaying our books at Bahrisons, Full Circle, Midland but this time we are also accepting orders directly in Delhi and Bangalore. And once we receive orders, we are asking them if they have a favourite bookshop. We give a part of the proceeds to the mentioned bookstore and 10 per cent to a charity working towards Covid relief.”
Midland Bookshop has four stores at Hauz Khas, Janpath, South Ex and Gurgaon. Except Janpath, bookshops at the other three places have been open since two weeks. “The shops are open from 12-6pm every day. We are not allowing more than three to four people in at one time,” Mirza Oswan told indianexpress.com. It was Oswan’s grandfather who had started the bookstore.
All the staff are mandated to wear gloves and masks. The stores are being sanitised regularly and most books are being delivered at home.
The Book Shop
Situated at Jor Bagh market, it has been opened since this Tuesday on alternative days — Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. The timings are from 11am-4pm. A spokesperson from the shop spoke to indianexpress.com and confirmed that the store is open and is allowing two people to enter at a time. As precautionary measures, the store is being sanitised regularly, along with books browsed by the customers.
The Book Shop has also been delivering books and using their conveyance within a 10km radius. Beyond that, they are using courier services, which are used for orders from other cities. “The courier prices are exorbitant so we are telling the customers in advance of the cost. We process it only after they agree,” the spokesperson said, adding the number of orders from other cities have substantially increased.
Situated in GK 1, it has opened since May 5 and is open on all seven days. Bhupendra Singh, salesman at the store told indianexpress.com that there have been customers dropping in and they are allowing three to four people to enter at the same time. Precautions like sanitising hands before entering the premises and checking temperature have been in place. In case you need to order books, you can drop in a WhatsApp message and Rs 80 will be charged as a delivery fee.
Dear book readers of Bangalore, BOOKWORM BOOKSTORE is now OPEN FOR BUSINESS! If you are looking for a book, please reach us via call/whatsapp on 98450 76757. Our large collection of books, across genres including children’s books awaits you. Thank you for supporting us!!
— Krishna Gowda (@bookworm_Kris) April 27, 2020
Situated in Shanthala Nagar, Bangalore, Bookworm Bookstore has been open since April 25. Speaking to indianexpress.com, the proprietor Krishna Gowda, said 95 per cent of the books are being delivered through Dunzo. “We have very few people coming to the store but we get a lot of orders.” The shop is open all seven days from 9am- 6pm. They are working on reduced resources with only three out of 10 staff members at the store. As precautions, they are wearing masks and disinfecting the store daily.
— Rajkamal Prakashan 📚 (@RajkamalBooks) May 5, 2020
Located in Daryaganj, the store has been opened from May 5. “Only the marketing head and two staff are present,” Satyanand Nirupam, editorial director told indianexpress.com. Regular sanitising and disinfecting are the norm at the shop. He also informed that they are operating at 20 per cent strength. Alind Maheshwari, Sales Head, told indianexpress.com that only one person at a time is being allowed and both the staff and customers are required to wear masks and gloves. They have started delivering books too, but restricted to the green and orange zones for now.
Commenting on the trend, Nirupam said, “Those who are coming to the store are generally buying very thick books. Also, they are not coming for just one or two books.” They are open from Monday to Saturday, from 11am-4pm.
Blossom Book House
Blossom Book House in Bengaluru has been in operation from May 1. Although till May 3, the shop was open from 11am-3pm, the timings have now been extended to 9am-6pm. “There are not many customers but we are getting orders and delivering through Dunzo and Swiggy,” Mayi Gowda, proprietor of the store told indianexpress.com. There are automatic sanitiser dispensers at the gate and customers are only allowed if they are wearing masks. Owing to the the space, 50-60 people can be accommodated with social distancing.
Walking BookFairs in Bengaluru and Bhubaneswar is now open for in-store shopping and book orders. “Walking BookFairs Bangalore has been reaching books to readers throughout April and is now accepting book orders throughout India,” Swati from the Walking BookFairs told indianexpress.com. At both places, the shops are opened from 11am-6pm from Tuesday to Sunday.
“Walking BookFairs Bangalore is now accepting book orders for delivery throughout India via Postal services and courier. We have already shipped our first batch of book orders post lockdown 2.0 to readers in various parts of the country and will continue doing so. Readers who are not yet comfortable for in-store shopping can place book orders via Instagram/Whatsapp messages and get their book orders picked up from our shop via Dunzo, Swiggy or any other local delivery service. We are also open for store pick up from 11-6 (Tue-Sun) for pre-ordered books,” she added.
This famous bookstore in Kolkata has started receiving orders. Either log in to their website or call them to share your orders.
— oxfordbookstore (@oxfordbookstore) May 8, 2020
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