I am on this quest to visit bookstores all over the world and write about them. Wherever I go, I make it a point to research the local bookstores and try and visit at least one of them. I was in Chandigarh a couple of weeks ago and had the opportunity to visit one of the biggest bookstores in the city.
The English Book Shop goes back to 1952 and has survived and thrived through many tough times. Situated in the midst of the city, the store is an absolute delight, a booklover’s paradise.
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As you approach the store, you are greeted by a catchy window display with the latest books. The day I visited the store, the view was marred by some boxes that contained books, but otherwise, the display can pull a book lover inside. The inside is, of course, a sight to behold. So you walk in and find yourself in an oasis of books stacked beautifully.
The store has various interesting sections; Children, Bestsellers, Fiction, Non-Fiction, Poetry, Self-Help and even regional language books.
The books of different languages make it a perfect place for those who want to explore the cultures and literature of other regions.
The sections are clearly marked, which helps you head to the books of your choice. Along the way, you can browse to your heart’s content which is what I did. The colours, the titles make it difficult to bypass any section without pausing and looking.
One fascinating section is that of the old classics where you could spot a Pride and Prejudice, works of Kalil Gibran and even an Oscar Wilde.
The children’s section is lovely, and if you want to encourage your children to read, take them there and let them be amidst the colourful display and titles.
I spotted many familiar books and authors that warmed my heart as I walked about the store. There were the works of Maya Angelou, Toni Morrison, V.S.Naipaul, Salman Rushdie, Anita Desai and Kiran Desai, to name just a few.
The staff is very amiable and helpful, which makes the experience very pleasant, and if you want to chat well… then Sangeeta, the owner, has the time and the friendly demeanour to spend time with you.
You guessed it!! That’s what I did.
The store also has another fascinating section with the most attractive items in art and craft; from pens to paints to ribbons to glitter, the variety is mind-boggling.
I had a great time exploring both sides of the store and came back with a bag full of delightful titles. And more than that, the feeling of having spent time amidst books made my day.
So if you are a bibliophile and happen to be in the city don’t miss visiting The English book store.