Buying Books

My collection includes books given (in exchange or lieu of something, on my request) or gifted by my friends / family and the ones I bought. When I know someone is gifting me a book, I specifically (and shamelessly :-P) ask for the title I want to read. Chuck modesty!

Why do I buy?

I have so many reasons to buy a book that they sound more like excuses. So I won’t list them here.

Where do I buy?

Unless inevitable, I don’t buy from online bookstores like Amazon and Flipkart despite their heavy discounts. For me, buying books is a very personal experience. I enjoy the process of buying books in physical stores almost as much as reading them.

I scout for books wherever I go. Even when I travelled outside for official trips, I roamed alone on streets filled with old book sellers and bought some good stuff.

Here is list of bookstores I generally visit to buy books.

Sl.No.BookstoreReason I visitApproximate time spent per visitUSP
1Book sellers on Avenue Road, BangaloreUsed Kannada and English Books1-2 hoursOld treasure house. I got Kannada version of Mahatma Gandhi’s pictorial biography for Rs.35 once.
2Aakruti Book House, Rajajinagar, BangaloreUsed Kannada and English Books1-2 hours if the owner, Guru, is present

Less than 15-20 mins if it is just staff
Guru is an avid reader and very knowledgeable about books.
3Ankegowda Book House, Pandavapura, MandyaUsed Kannada books3-4 hoursRarest of rare books, but not everything that is displayed is up for sale. Cash only.
4Ankita Book House, Basavanagudi, BangaloreNew Kannada books1 hourCourteous and knowledgeable owner and staff
5Blossom Book House,
Church Street, Bangalore
Used Kannada and English Books1-2 hoursAladdin’s lamp. Surprises galore.
6Kannada Pustaka Pradhikara, JC Road, BangaloreNew Kannada books1-2 hoursExcellent place for “complete collections”. But they sell like hot cakes. Always visit with a big bag.
7Kannada Sahitya Parishat, Chamarajapet, BangaloreNew Kannada books1-2 hours
8Kuvempu Bhasha Bharathi Pradhikara, Mallathalli, BangaloreNew Kannada books30-45 minutes
9Lavanya Book Store, Rajajinagar, BangaloreUsed Kannada books1 hour
10Prasaranga, Mysore University, MysoreKannada, English, and Sanskrit books1-2 hoursOlder, undiluted versions of books available. But sell out real quick. Grab when you can. Cash Only.
11National Book Trust, Banashankari 2nd Stage, BangaloreNew Kannada and English books1 hourExcellent books for all ages at dirt cheap prices. One of the books I bought costed Rs.7.50 after 50% discount.
12Sahitya Akademi, Central College campus, BangaloreNew Kannada and English books1 hourSahitya Akademi award winning books, translated from other languages
13Sapna Book House, multiple outlets, BangaloreNew Kannada and English books30 minutes
14Sudha Book House, Srinagar, BangaloreNew Kannada books30-45 minutesOwner Paramashivappa is an avid reader and knowledgeable about books he sells.
15Total Kannada, Jayanagar, BangaloreNew Kannada books1 hour
Bookstores list

I also buy from India Book House (IBH), Ekalavya, Pratham Books, annual Bangalore Book Festival, Kannada Sahitya Sammelana, and other book exhibitions.

However, my biggest single-store haul was when Late Ravi Belegere’s Belegere Books and Coffee (BBC) shut down. I made three trips on my scooter carrying sackful of books each time.

Book Exchange

I participate in the annual book exchange event. I have sent and received books.

I have an unwritten book exchange pact with a friend which happens multiple times a year. Sometimes I ask for a specific book, sometimes I don’t. But despite what non-believers say about book exchange initiatives, I like the idea of getting unexpected books from strangers and enjoy the process of buying (or selecting from my own collection) for them.


I did not visit a single book shop when I stayed in Kolkota for a couple of months. I still don’t know the reason behind that blasphemy.

I don’t negotiate price when buying books. But I don’t say no to discounts.

Though I create and promote usage of eBooks, I don’t buy them as I am still not comfortable reading books on a device.

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