This article was first published on Lenskart.com. See original article here.
If you’re visiting either of these cities below, then you shouldn’t miss the opportunity to explore these bookstores, which are a paradise in disguise for readers.
What more can you ask, for these cafés have a humongous collection of books coupled with sumptuous food to offer! So the next time you visit these cities, make it a point to enjoy reading a poem or a piece of fiction with a cup of Masala Chai or Filter Coffee!
Delhi: May Day Bookstore
Looking for a space where you can find all the Leftist and Communist literature? Your search ends here, in the Shadipur area of the capital city. Just get down at Shadipur Metro Station and ask the rickshaw puller to take you to bayaassi (82) number. This is a collective space which is eclectic and urbane.
And what’s special here? There’s one exclusive section here that has old and used books at ridiculously cheap prices. You may find some unique and braingasmic books on gender, sexuality and feminism as well. You can organize your book meets too in the Safdar Studio, where usually plays are staged, which can be booked at nominal prices. For more, click here.
Pune: Pagdandi Bookstore Café
‘Pagdandi Books Chai Café’ reads a green signboard over a yellow door welcomes you on the slopes of hills of Baner, Pune. Once you’re here, you’ll know for sure that this place defines the adjective ‘unique.’ It’s yet another collective space which includes the cozy and comfortable bed and cushions on the left of the entrance and adjacent to a bookshelf, on the right, there’s a seating arrangement; grab a chair and read and listen to the bookish conversations of fellow bibliophiles. Book sections are divided into two: For-Sale and Not-For-Sale (donated by fellow readers).
And what’s special here? Grab a book of poetry and hop in the bedding provided and finish the book till the very end! Because they don’t throw their visitors, you can take as much time as you want without ordering anything, it can’t get better. Can it? For more, click here.
Hyderabad: The Coffee Cup
This happens to be the café which seems to take care of all the discerning demands of a bibliophile. Firstly, it has an amazing ambience. Secondly, it welcomes you with a collection of some old novels, which you can enjoy reading out in the open with their popular filter coffee. And what makes it extra special is that it has got many stand-up comedy performances there. Weekends are a busy affair in this café as it enjoys the merit of being the most popular one in Telangana.
And what’s special here? Friday comedy shows with filter coffee is the most sought thing people look forward to here. Want to know more? Click here.
Bangalore: Atta Galatta
This local/regional language bookstore has a reputation of having a stack of over 10,000 Indian writing books, the largest in Bangalore. The much famed Bangalore Literature festival is credited to this bookstore, and so much so that over 100 international authors, poets and translators attend this two-day fest every year!
And what’s special here? Besides the amazing regional collection of books, look out for their annual literature festival. Check their website here.
KitabKhana: A treasure trove for books claims itself to be the “connoisseur of regional literature.” To satiate your book-appetite you can count upon its reputation of the latest arrivals to the hand-picked editions in three regional languages: Gujarati, Hindi and Marathi. And its in-house café, Food for thought—appropriately named—is there for you to munch upon the local delicacies while you contemplate existential conundrums and riddles by Sartre, Nietzsche and Kant.
And what’s special here? Food for thought is famous for its Fresh Salad, Pasta and Coffee. So, what possibly could be extra-special for a book-nerd? Click here to check their website.
Chennai: Amethyst Café
Anyone is bound to run out of words to describe this place. What could be said about a place which has a bookstore, an in-house café, fashion accessories, and a flower shop? Yes, it’s a world within. You may choose to buy a bouquet of flowers, or read a book in the balcony area over a cup of filter coffee; or choose to lose yourself in its idiosyncratic smell from books in the humid weather of Chennai. Heavenly experiences are at your disposal, it’s you who has to figure out what you want!
And what’s special here? Everything! Need we say more? Click here to know more.
Kolkata: Oxford Bookstore & Cha Bar
Oxford Bookstore and Cha Bar, collectively, are perhaps the most widely known bookstore and café association. Its roots are in Kolkata, the multifaceted city. Whenever you happen to map the lanes of Park Street, make sure you visit this iconic place. Many authors and world-renowned poets visit this place. Regional poets and writers could be seen in various events organized by Oxford Bookstore. It is undoubtedly more spacious than its Delhi counter-part, which I dislike actually. Cha Bar is spread across the first floor; and the ground floor is stuffed, and exceptionally so, with several books categorically.
And what’s special here? The very vibe of Kolkata is special. However, I can present two reasons to visit this bookstore-café: Amazing food & Bollywood Masala Chai by Cha Bar and the fiction collection of Oxford Bookstore.
PS: I’m sure there are several other places spread across our vast country. But I’ve tried to capture the most notable ones here. If you have any suggestions for me from the cities that I haven’t explored, do drop a comment.