1. FAQIR CHAND & SONS
Delhi is a city where stories are awaiting perusal and histories are yet to be discovered. In the middle of one of India’s most premium shopping destinations, a particular favorite of the Nehru-Gandhi family is a tiny, dingy shop, where books are arranged into stacks that reach the ceiling and there’s literally no place for anything else. This bookshop where time stands still has been in Khan Market for 67 years and finds mention in the critically acclaimed autobiography “Ente Kantha” (1973) originally in Malayalam and later translated into English, (My Story) of the Late poet Kamala Surayya, popularly known by her pen name Madhavikutty, who became India’s first feminist poet and a role model for the iconoclasts.
It’s possible to spend an entire afternoon in Faqir Chand & Sons just looking at the books and you might even catch a glimpse of journalist Vinod Dua or Historian Romila Thapar when you step into the store, any day of the week except for Sundays when they remain shut.
Book Bought : Rana Safvi’s “Forgotten cities of Delhi”
2. BAHRISONS BOOKSELLERS
History has always been about the act of coming into confrontation with what’s there, with what’s apparently very obvious and in front of our eyes, that supposedly doesn’t hide anything than what meets the eye and challenging that very notion. But, the way human histories are being taught in schools today, aren’t how they work. In the words of Aanchal Malhotra, “every colossal capital ‘H’ History in the world is a conglomeration of several such personal, private, small ‘h’ histories.”
It is impossible to classify the complexities of the human mind to brass tacks, how then are we expected to conform to an epicentric view of History? Bahrisons Booksellers has a close connection to antiquity, established by Balraj Bahri Malhotra in 1953. It remains a favorite among many historians and history writers who’re active Instagrammers as well. Aanchal Malhotra, author of “Remnants Of A Separation” is the granddaughter of Balraj Bahri Malhotra and can be seen roaming around in the bookstore from time to time. Rana Safvi too, was here for the book signing of “City of My Heart” this week.
How to reach : A ten-minute walk from the Khan Market metro station
Book bought : “Muslims against partition” by Shamsul Islam
3. Music and Mountains Hillside Cafe
This out-of-place café in the middle of the city, situated in the M-block market of Greater Kailash can transpose you to a different date and time, even in the middle of the day. Every table comes with a book kept on it and as dusk befalls, candles are lit to add to the warmth and the feeling of reading beside a fire. It’s a great place if you’re by yourself and want some peace and quiet to read. The tiramisu on the menu is a must try.
4. The Oxford Bookstore
The Oxford bookstore, in the N Block of Connaught place, is the most aesthetically pleasing thing in the city. It has a Cha Bar attached to it, which is always excessively loud. The place is boisterous and never quiet enough to sit at with a book in hand, An environment that is unexpected in a bookstore but the Cha Bar and the moderate rates for snacks is what draws in groups of friends and students to this particular place, which is usually a bit more tranquil during the daytime. You are sure to bump into one of your acquaintances here.
Book Bought : “Empress, The Astonishing Reign of Nur Jahan” by Ruby Lal
5. The Readers Cafe
Located in the hip Indirapuram Habitat Centre of Ghaziabad, The Readers’ Cafe is very accessible to every Delhite. It’s a twenty-minute auto ride away from the Vaishali metro station, on the blue line and is an ideal place to chill at while typing away on your laptop, on a Sunday afternoon or even just to hang out with friends or family.
6. MIDLAND BOOK SHOP
Shop No.20 is a quaint little bookstore in the Aurobindo Palace Market that houses the best collection of Philosophy books in the city as well as the entire collection of the Penguin Modern Series & the Little Black Classics. Midland Book Shop also has an outlet in South Extension.