Bookstop! in Koramangala is owned and run by Jayanti and Venkat, two bibliophiles adventurous and gutsy, and passionate enough to put their faith in the printed word and its readers. amachandra Guha inaugurated the store a few weeks ago and noticed with relief that Bookstop! was strictly books, no chainstore merchandising, and just earnest browsers. Bookstop! is a modest-sized, cozy bookshop and it aims to remain this way. Bangalore, at last, has what it had always lacked: a community bookstore.
Browsing wasn’t possible anymore if you’ll recall, while Bookstop! makes this familiar bibliophile-pleasure seductive again. It’s telling that Bookstop! is not another used bookstore (which there is more of in Bangalore suddenly than ever before) which are relatively simpler to start-up, and involves fewer risks. Bookstop! is stocked with not just new books but carefully handpicked titles that lean towards the literary more than the popular.
Coming back to what McClelland observes so insightfully: as the printed book itself becomes a niche pleasure, seekers of the printed book will become a niche constituency and it will be those passionately and idiosyncratically curated walls of books in such community bookstores that will serve their needs more knowledgeably, accurately and with easy camaraderie.
Each time I visited Bookstop! (which has become rather often) I saw patrons either deep in conversation with Jayanti about books or browsing intently. They have no plans to go online because — like all good independent bookshops — they want to see the people they are selling books to. The couple has plans to soon make this even more of a speciality bookstore by devoting shelves to author-signed copies, out-of-print editions, books about books, and showcase more titles from smaller, independent publishers.
What gave them the business confidence that Bookstop! will succeed when other larger chain bookstores have failed? Venkat said he had faith in Jayanti’s vision for the bookshop as also a community — not only commercial — bookstore. When she once expressed doubts about what they were doing, he had reminded her: “it will be a success because you are passionate about books, because you love talking about books to others, because you are not doing this like a business person, so it will have a different atmosphere, a different energy that will drive it.”
Read the entire article here.
Image Source : maratinhisbath