The Silent Death of Bookshops in Delhi: Fact-Bound




 We love books. We hate facts. The sad trend of closing down of book-shops must be a matter of concern for all of us. Last month, two of my favourite book-shops-Fact and Fiction at Vasant Vihar and Spell and Bound at SDA Market, closed down. Apparently, the lease had ended for both and it was not a lucrative business anymore with massive mushrooming of online portals like Amazon, Flipkart and onset of Kindle reading.
What do we loose, we think? A lot. Since times immemorial, book-shops have been a cultural symbol, an icon of the social order in which one deliberately reflects on the times bygone as well as creates a space for new ideas and generations. Reading spaces are significant for our development and growth as individuals. The silent deaths of book-shops bespeak of a looming danger – of living in a society which is driven only by gadget race, material madness and senseless competition.
spell&bound
‘Spell and Bound’ was one of my favourite places because it breathed literature in every nook and corner. True to its name, it did cast a spell on anyone who visited it and the perfectly selected quotes from literary giants across time, did bind one to the timelessness of literature.The kind of hard-work that would have gone in creating this beautiful literary space can only be imagined by its wooden framed plaques of renowned writers , the mesmerising quotes written spirally over the spiral staircase and elegantly arranged titles with frequent suggestions on the contemporary trends in literature.
My sadness seeped into the very corners which I was going to miss. Empty shelves spoke to me – as if pleading to get back what they had lost- a generation of words. What can I do- I ask myself? I can just imagine myself to make it a point to visit a bookstore every weekend and buy a book. The ocean may never miss the drop , but it will be surely less because of its absence.




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