Wednesday, 13 June, 2012

A la recherche du ciel Part-I : The Bookshop, Jor Bagh

I finally visited "The Book Shop" in Jor Bagh. I didn't have the fortune to visit The Bookshop when it was the 'it' shop of Khan Market. It closed down before I could get a chance. Well do you know how there is a Hindu temple custom to do revolutions in the temple compound around the temple building. It's called "pradakshinalu" in Telugu. Circumambulations? Anyway, that's how I paid my obeisance to the shop. I spent a total of one hour looking for it even though I had figured out exactly where it was on google map. When I hit the ground I couldn't find any of the landmarks I had identified on the map. Plus the autowallahs didn't help. I was directed to Jor Bagh Khanna market and the  Lodhi colony main market, but not to the Jor Bagh market. One guy even tried to convince me it's called Khan Market. I finally called up HP and got detailed instructions.

For all you people who might be tempted to visit: Get to Lodhi road. Cross the red light right after IHC(assuming your orientation is such that you are moving from IHC towards Safdar Jung tomb) Stay on the Left. Wait for a Sign which says "Jor Bagh Colony". Take a left into Jor Bagh colony on the road right after a post office. Drive on. And Voila! The first thing you will see will be The Bookshop on your right.

My heart took flight the moment I spotted it. I haven't been to a book shop in months (barring bookshop chains and airport book shops) ,ever since the advent of Flipkart I think. Somehow the gods have ordained that those who live on the wrong side of the Yamuna don't deserve book shops. So I have to travel a minimum of 10 kms to get to a generic book shop (one of the chains) to find out they don't have the book I want. I had read wonderful things about The Book shop and I had been wanting to go there for a long time. I even checked out their (its?his?her?) FB page ( which indicates some serious interest on my part). Finally I was here. It felt like a reunion the moment I stepped in. Even though it was small and cosy, I could have spent hours in there. I found so many book on the shelves I haven't seen in the chain shops, books that eventually drove me to e-retail. I have three unread books, seven half read books and two three-quarter read books at home; I still bought three books. I wanted to buy more.  As I stepped out of the shop, I saw a notice board with cut outs of book reviews from news papers and book jackets pinned up on it. It made a lovely farewell note. In another life , I could have been a writer (maybe struggling writer) and the owner of my own bookshop (the bookshop being a source of income and the writing being a source of pleasure). I wish The Book Shop was closer to my home so I  could visit more often. But maybe then it wouldn't have been safe from the Yamuna. So I'll just find reasons to be in the neighbourhood and drop by.

P.S. I ran into the Delhiwalla  in the shop. (I guess "ran" into is a wrong word for someone who doesn't know you. Spotted : D)

P.S. This is Part-I of a series I plan to do. The title is French for "In search of heaven", inspired by the title of Marcel Proust's mammoth master piece "A la recherche du temps perdu " I am on a mission to find my sanctuary, my vacation, my movie hall, my couch all rolled into one, in short my favorite bookshop. A place where I can be found when I cant be found anywhere else.


  1. You should totally go visit this tiny book store at SDA Market, Hauz Khas called "Spell and Bound". It is so tiny and cosy that its beautiful and the interiors reminds me of Harry Potter. :)

    1. Ok then, Spell and Bound is the next destination :D

  2. My favourite bookstore is Midland in South Ex Part 1 and I recommend it to everyone. It's right there at the famed bhel puri point of South extension, and pretty much stocks up on every book one ever wants.

  3. Thanks for the suggestion. I will put it on the list.


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