The world is changing very fast, and the world of reading is no different. Technology has opened several options for booklovers in terms of audiobooks, e-books and physical books. But no matter what, physical books can never lose their charm and hold over booklovers. The sheer joy of holding a book in one’s hands, turning the pages, and taking in the smell and touch cannot be matched by any other alternative. So when physical books can’t go away, how can places that sell these books disappear? They have been there and will always be there.
Thus bookstores and book spaces will continue to attract book lovers. The city of Delhi is full of bookstores but along with that we also have book markets in Delhi.
History of The Daryaganj Book Market
The Daryaganj Book Market was one such place, also known as Kitab Bazaar; it came into existence in 1964. Nestled between the bustling streets of Old Delhi, it was an iconic destination for avid readers and book lovers, a paradise for them. Though its beginnings were humble, it grew to cater to almost 250 book vendors who regularly put up their stalls on the pavement from Daryaganj Bazaar to Netaji Subhash Marg.
But sadly, the market had to be shut down in August 2019 as the area became a ‘no hawking’ zone. It broke many a booklover’s heart, but it was something that had to be done as the vendors across the market impeded pedestrian and traffic movement. But then it soon found a new home in the Mahila market started by the Indian government to empower women, the idea being the preservation of the book market tradition.
The new location for the book market is opposite the Broadway hotel in Chandni Chowk. It consists of several wide open-air stalls where book lovers can spend time surfing and looking for books they want at their own pace without traffic or pedestrians bothering them.
The book market is a vibrant and thriving book hub where readers can find books of all genres and topics ranging from bestsellers to rare books. Every stall has a unique collection allowing customers to explore a wide range of books. The market is filled with rows of bookshelves filled with books from various publishers and authors. The friendly and welcoming atmosphere makes it a great place for book browsing. Despite the crowd and weather conditions, especially during the summer, the market remains crowded with bookaholics.
The book market presents an excellent opportunity for bookaholics to expand their libraries. They can take their pick from second-hand books, children’s books, colouring books, biographies, quiz books, memoirs, coffee table books, comics, self-help books, books for competitive exams and even ancient books by obscure writers.
In addition to books, the market also offers a variety of book-related accessories like bookmarks, book stands and book bags.
It is an excellent place to find all kinds of stationary, from pens to watercolours to brushes and oil paints. It is also a gold mine of antique objects that have outlived their owners, and you can also find old calendars and paintings here.
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So whether you are looking for a special edition of your favourite book or a rare autobiography, you can find it at the Mahila book haat. And after a morning of browsing, bargaining and buying books, you can do more for your soul. You can head to the nearby food stalls, which are a gastronomic delight.
Tips for a Memorable Visit to the Book Market
- To avoid the chaos of the area, try and visit around 9 AM.
- Be prepared to walk for many hours because hundreds of books, magazines, and journals are available for purchase.
- Wear walking shoes to stay comfortable.
- Be ready to negotiate, as some booksellers are open to bargaining.
- Even though the world is tech-savvy, carry cash with you to pay for your purchases.
- The nearest metro station is Delhi Gate (Violet Line)
This book market in Delhi is not a place to be missed.