Thursday, May 1, 2008

Premier book shop, a book lover’s dream…

Situated off Church Street, Bangalore, this shop is truly a book lover’s dream come true. I first came across this shop in a blog – “There are layers and layers of books and as you remove a book from one layer you see few layers behind that layer.”, writes Anuradha Goyal.

The owner, Mr. Shanbhag, an old gentleman has assembled such an astonishing collection under a single roof that one is almost spellbound. Baby care, Panchatantra, pocket dictionaries, choicest non-fiction from ‘A Russian diary’ to ‘My country, My life’, books on programming languages, management books, classics, some truly rare fiction collection, best sellers, philosophy, Indian writing – all under one roof not even spread across multiple floors as is the wont in book shops these days. It is also Ramachandra Guha's favorite book shop as he tells in an interview here - "
But the one I love most is Premier Bookshop, off Church Street in Bangalore. Its owner, T. S. Shanbagh, is a man of much charm combined with a sly humour. His books are arranged in a most eccentric fashion, but he knows where each one is, and knows too which new arrival is likely to interest an old customer"

He has some very regular customers who rely on his wealth of knowledge to get them the books they need. An young parent was enquiring about a specific book on baby care while another man was looking for something that has the “history of Rajputs”. He politely asks for the customer’s personal phone number and promises to call them back once he procures the books.

I went on a splurge and brought what I believe to be some very good ones and true to this other blog got 20% discount on the total amount. In my happiness, I forgot the umbrella before starting back. When I returned for it, Mr. Shanbhag in his booming voice remarked “We tend to forget it when it doesn’t rain, isn’t it?” Yes, indeed.

Thank you, Premier!!


Madhuri said...

Have never been to this one - in fact I had explored very few bookstores when in Bangalore. Had hardly moved beyond Strands at Manipal. I was only beginning to read extensively then, and Strand fulfilled the requirement. Though I think now I would find it increasingly difficult to appreciate their slightly limited collection.
Your post has inspired me to pen down a post on my favorite bookstores - I have been contemplating on this for some time. Will soon post.

shiva said...

Looking forward to such a post...