I do get worried when people discuss about bookstores in India. Not so long back, bookstores were hip here. Along with Multiplex, Quick Serving Restaurants, International fashion brands and Bittu-Tikki-walas, Book-stores were must have for the malls. Retail giants like Tata, Reliance, Rahejas etc were investing Book store chains and related leisure stores. These stores were huge, big sections for Graphic novels, which were the pleasant surprise, some stores even had merchandises and life-size action figures. It was like a dream.
But last couple of years, the e-commerce evolution in India has spoiled the run of these bookstores. Cash on Delivery, Free-shipment, and Nail-in-the-eye discounts were too much to handle and slowly Bookstores in India are facing an acute shortage of traffic and revenues. Also the impact of ebooks, ipad and kindles have also not helped them.
I always dreamed about owning a bookstore (along with Restaurant, Recording studio, ad-agency and a school :P) You can play the music you love, create a beautiful ambiance, stay around books, read whatever you want andflirt with bookworms with bookish pick-up lines ( Girl, you’re so flawless, even James Wood couldn’t find anything to criticize :). But I doubt in the coming years, there will be enough left for new bookstores.
Last month, New York Times reported that in neighborhoods like Brooklyn and Manhattan, the popular bookstores are planning to close down due to ever-increasing lease price and south-ward moving revenues. In India, the situation might become similar if they don’t innovate and engage more with the readers. The extinction of bookstores can be a big cultural loss for us but in this jungle, only the fittest shall survive.
My theme for #AtoZChallenge is Indian Writing in English/Book and related topics. To know more about #AtoZChallenge, please visit the link