My New Favorite Book Store is…

by
The Oxford Bookstore

The Oxford Bookstore

The Oxford Bookstore in the Leela Palace Hotel.

A book store however well stocked it may be can never really appeal to me unless it has the following features:

  • Air-conditioned
  • Seating area
  • Large and spacious

As you can see, I have sold out to comfort over substance ;). This means that I usually end up hanging out in chain book stores such as Landmark and Crossword. Not that I really mind it, but a little less impersonality and a lot more variety of books would go a long way. In addition, most chain book stores seem to stock a limited number of books these days, and focus more on dvds, games, toys, stationery, and in the case of Landmark – even jewellery and perfume!

So, the Oxford book store comes as a refreshing breath of fresh air.

It’s location in the Leela palace hotel (a 7-star super-posh hotel) ensures that when I visit I get valet parking, an intimate book browsing and buying environment, without any crowd. Generally, people think anything in a 7-star hotel is going to be super-expensive, and so the customers here are limited to hotel residents, expats, and a few other book lovers.

How lovely is that!

Now to the most important point – their collection of books. I must say that they have one of the most well-edited collections I have seen. Since the floor area is not large, they have really taken efforts to ensure that they have quality books that really appeal to the target audience they have in mind.

I specifically love their selection of coffee-table books and children’s books.

Last week, as a treat for the snubnose and to get her some new books, I took her here. And she had such a whale of a time :). They have a small reading nook for children. Just look how cozy it is.

The Kiddie Reading Nook

The Kiddie Reading Nook

In addition, they have managed to squeeze in a wonderful tea-house called the Cha Bar, which stocks an amazing variety of teas, coffees, and short eats.Yumm, yumm!

The snubnose enjoyed herself browsing through the variety of picture books and selecting what she would like to read. And it was such a pleasure to just sit there and watch her unhurriedly make her selections and to just see what interests her and what does not.

I did learn that she likes books with stickers, and so I got her plenty of those. Here is a shot of the snubnose with all the loot that we picked up from the bookshop. Isn’t she the happy camper? ๐Ÿ™‚

The Smug Snubnose Showing off her Stuff

The Smug Snubnose Showing off her Stuff

A close-up of the goodies we got for her

A close-up of the goodies we got for her

I know some of you will want to know what books I bought for myself. But the honest, and sad answer is none :(.

The thing is, I so much enjoyed hanging around the snubnose reading the books that she selected for me to read that I actually forgot to browse anything for myself. Can you believe that! But, it’s true!!!

So, which book store do you like to hang around in most? If you are interested do write about your favorite book store and link to me. Or, you can talk about it in the comments section, I would love to read it. We could even make a meme out of it ๐Ÿ˜€

Note: This is an earlier post that I just polished up a bit and published. Obviously, the snubnose and I aren’t traipsing through book stores when she is so ill!

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  • dmanji

    Oh I am reminded of the Oxford Bookstore in Kolkata I remember as a school kid I used to window shop and never dared go in but later found that its a great place to buy books… but now that store’s a fully renovated store with cha bar etc… but still has been able to hold on the old world charm…. will sure try it in Bangalore….

  • i have been to oxford in BBay.. and I liked it there. I really do want to be able to handout like thins in sme bookstore!!!!!!!!!!!

    yur lil snub house looks happy with all her goodies… and well i hope she is feeling better now.

    • @Veens: I love to hang out in book shops esp when they are as comfortable and well-stocked as this one. Apart from the Bangalore branch, I have only visited the Chennai store, which was not that nice. Good to hear that Bbay branch is cool …

      Snubnose is still a bit weak now but doing much better, thank you ๐Ÿ™‚

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  • I must admit I dont much like bookstores like Landmark/ Crossword because they’re so impersonal. In Bangalore, the best time I had in a bookstore was the Premier book store on Church Street (I have no idea if it is still there). It was one of those stores with wall to ceiling shelves and books spilling everywhere, on floors, countertops, chairs. I loved browsing there. Recently, I found a bookstore like that in Pune, crowded, full of books but all I had to do was ask and the proprietor was able to lay his hand on the exact book I wanted and even give me reccos for more. Unfortunately I forgot the name ๐Ÿ™ Though I must admit, I do love stores which have seating areas where I can browse for hours at a time, more points if they have a beverage counter …. your little one looks very happy with her haul, hope she gets well soon!!

    • @couchpapaya: I think you might be referring to Blossoms ๐Ÿ™‚

      It has a huge variety of books and the owner is very knowledgeable. I go there to check out their second-hand collection all the time.

      It’s just that there is no place to just sit down with your favorite books, and check them out in peace, which takes a book store to the next level for me ๐Ÿ™‚

  • I am a total fan of Odyssey Book Store at the Delhi Airport because they have quite a collection of the latest books . Haven’t been then recently but I think theirs was the collection which I found better than many other stores I have visited. Also Landmark and Crossword for contemporary.

    • @Shweta: Really, such a shame that I did not step in when I was visiting Delhi last month ๐Ÿ™

  • What a cutie! And quite right too, books with stickers in are brilliant. I have to say, my criteria for a good bookshop are the same as yours. I live in the Deep South so air conditioning is vital. ๐Ÿ˜›

    • @Jenny: You are right, stickers are such fun! Actually, I am reliving my childhood again going through these books with the snubnose ๐Ÿ™‚

      We really didn’t have such fun books when I was a child.

  • LANDMARK…always, I love that store, have you seen their annual sale? The best ever.

    Never been to Oxford, there is none in Pune. But glad you had such a great time at Oxford.

  • Mine is landmark .. has always been .. mainly becos of the collection they have .. I also frequent a library which doubles up as a bookstore and pick up nondescript books when i am in the mood to discover a new author.. i discovered one of my favorite books that way !.. Only a bunch of people know abt this place and i sometimes wonder how the library owners make their ends meet.. lovely pics of u r lil one!!

  • sumanam

    Oh , I so remember the Oxford book store in Kolkata(my hometown).. I loved that store.. yes ,it had AC and located inside the 5* Grand Hotel, but really the books were priced as they should be nothing more … my parents, when they send books for us , especillay for my 8yr old they still buy from Oxford…
    I am glad you enjoyed your time with your daughter at a book store, how lovely and exquisite .. so what you didn’t get book for yourself ๐Ÿ™‚ next time…

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