Who doesn’t love secondhand bookstores? The scent of old books and the chance of stumbling on to a treasure along with the throwaway prices they are sold at, makes it a steal.
Bengaluru’s Avenue Road is one of the few places where one can still buy second-hand books and sell the ones they own. This stretch has as many as 300 booksellers — many of whom have been in the business for over three decades. The category of books varies from fairy tales, novels, textbooks and coaching books for many competitive exams.
Ankor Book Store, B S Gowda Book House, Golden Book Store and many others have proudly among the many bookstores on this road.
“The place has around 70 bookshops and over 250 street booksellers who have been here for at least last 30 years,” says Mohith, the proprietor of Universal Book Store.
“The shop has only a history of 30 years, and that is less when compared to other shops around here. Most people have been around for 50 years” he says.
Though these stores have lost their clientele to online marketplaces, booksellers say that the variety of textbooks and the lack of a fixed price tag still draws customers.
“When other second-hand bookshops in Bangalore carry a price tag, the ones on Avenue road don’t have one. The price of the book solely depends on your bargaining skills,” says Srishti, a Bangalore resident.
“The street is a hub for students and bibliophiles. It has a collection that ranges from second-hand textbooks to novels and fairy tales. The place has been my go-to place since I was in school,” says Gauri, a student at CHRIST.
If you look hard enough, you may also stumble on to a rare edition of a book that you may not be able to procure elsewhere. Stores on the street also give you a place to sell your used books or exchange them for new ones.
N Kiran, who recently opened his second store on Avenue Road, says, “People from all over Bengaluru visit the place after hearing about the extraordinary collection the place has.”