Hop to Janpath , the famous flea market in New Delhi, and your vision is blocked by beautiful shops of clothes , bags , footwear and other accessories!! Start strolling down the street and every shopkeeper is trying to pull you to their shop, “didi , yeh dekho ekdum latest aaya hai , Rs.450 only , kam kar denge! Arre ek baar dekh toh lo”.
But amidst all these shops is another shop , unexpectedly in a place that is known only for inexpensive clothes and accessories . If your shopping freak mode is insanely switched on, this place would not be noticed by you but if you are in normal senses, the calmness this place seems to offer would surely drag you here.
Bargain Book store to others but “Janpath Bookshop” to its owner- Subhash Kashyap .Tucked in the flea market of Janpath is this small bookshop which shares a narrow space with a garment stall. Within the first 5 minutes that I spent at this bookshop, already 7 people had come in with 1 already waiting for the billing to be done.
As I stepped inside this bookshop, it was astonishing to see that such a little place had a large collection of books and it had some totally NEW books too. Moving my eyes from one corner to another I saw a pile of books from authors like Salman Rushdie, Vikram Seth , Paulo Coelho , John Grisham , Dan Brown , Agatha Christie and everyone’s all time favorite “Mills and Boons”. All Indian and Foreign Authors’ marvelous pieces of writings sat peacefully on the shelves of this bookshop and I think the books felt quite cherished and pampered here!
Pretending myself to be a little journalist I spoke to Subhash about his shop and he could not stop boasting, “This shop is here since 40 years, and it was founded by my Father. We have all the books , and if we don’t have some book we can always arrange for it on request.” But this is not the reason why I got drawn towards this book store, the reason is super good deals on the books.
To buy a book you’ve got to agree to the deal. Buy any book , read it and then (you can) return them and get half of your money back! So you read the books at half prices. Books have never been so inviting, isn’t it? *winks*
Subhash explains “We have this deal because Janpath is always full of youngsters and these college and school going students cannot afford books of Rs.400 all the time. So our shop provides them all these books and when they return us the book after reading they get 50% of their money back.” So how do you come to know that someone purchased the book from your shop only? Smilingly mysteriously Subhash shares, “I put my signature on the last page of each book after asking the buyer if they wish to return it”. Now that’s witty!
Subhash even revealed that he has direct contact with the distributors which help him in knowing about all latest and good books. “You name it, we have it , else on request we arrange it!”.
So next time you want to grab a good reading you exactly know where to head to! Tech-Savy stuff and E-books might be the latest fad but the real charm only lies in reading a book held in our hands, using our saliva wetted fingers to flip pages and enjoying the unique and fresh smell of paper that fills our nostrils with each paper flipped – An experience every reader must have again and again!
PS – No harm is done if we get this charismatic feel at half the price.
Location : Shop No. 1 , New Mini Market, Janpath Time: 10 am -7 pm , Sunday open
-The Free Spirited Soul