The bookstore experience in Hyderabad

As pretty much everything else in India, going to a bookstore is an experience ! At times, a little baffling, when not downright frustrating, but always interesting ! For instance, you want to buy a particular book, and knowing that there is no way you will find it yourself, as there is no real logic to the way books are shelved, BUT everything is computerized, you walk up to the guy behind the computer and give him the title. He looks it up, finds it all right, and that’s when the “fun” begins. First, he points in a vague direction, hoping you will look for the book yourself. If you’ve got time, and you’re in a good mood, or if you simply fancy the idea of perusing at titles piled up vertically, you give it a try. Of course, you do not find the book, and so, you go back to him and ask him to send you someone who will. The man at the computer will then call someone, yell out the title of your book to him, give him some general idea as to where to look for it, and the guy will then proceed to spend a while trying to locate said book. Most of the time, unsuccessfully. And so, you either ask them to order it – an they will deliver it to your home – or you go home, get on your own computer, and order it on and prepare to wait for it to arrive. The upside of that is that while you were looking for that particular book that you never found, you actually discovered others that you remember wanting to read, once upon a time, or books that you never knew about, and joyfully discover, and in the end, you go back home with a stack of books, anyway. Not the one you were looking for, but what the heck ! The main thing is that you have a book to read, right ?

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7 thoughts on “The bookstore experience in Hyderabad

  1. My last trip to a bookstore was to Landmark so you would expect a better outcome, but no. I was looking for the book “Baby Signs,” a book that helps parent to teach their baby some hand signs as a way of communicating before they’re able say words. I ended up being shown a book about baby astrology. Of course!

  2. Well, I try to look at the bright side. At least, there ARE bookstores, and one can find many books to read. Where we lived before in Nigeria, there was nothing. And the reason these books are piling on the floors is that there are obviously more and more coming, and no actual shelves to receive them. As many things in Inda, it’s just a bit disorganized. 🙂 Like the new Hyderabad airport about to open, but no road leads to it !!!!

  3. Well not all bookstores in India are confusing like that! The one that I frequented the most in Hyderabad was Odyssey and they always found what I was looking for!I am now in the US and trust me, bookstores are amazing and wonderful places here too! Just miss the Indian authors!!

  4. A helpful blog, indeed. I’m a writer moving to Hyderabad from Los Angeles (by way of Cambodia) next month and have been worried about access to books. It appears there’ll be plenty for me when I arrive. Are there many used bookstores with English language titles?

  5. Hello the artful toddger, and thanks for visiting my blog! Used bookstores are more – from what I’ve seen – stalls selling used books and you’ll find lots of them in the streets, too. You need not worry about finding books, here. Wishing you a good journey from LA, and I may see you around when you get to the old city of the Nizams. What kind of writing do you do?

  6. Hi Katia. I had been a television writer in Los Angeles for many years. But my desire to write mid-shelf fiction and live abroad has won out… Seems it’s easier to write about a farm in North Dakota while sitting in a sweltering hut in Cambodia. And I can’t wait to see the old city in Hyderabad. Should be there in two weeks.

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