“I love reading and that’s one of the reasons why I ventured into the book-selling business. During my childhood, I used to love the smell of the new books and I would be super excited to read the comics of Hindi and English. Back then, we used to get special editions of comics for children. And later, I was slowly introduced to novels by one of my friends. I always thought of pursuing my higher education in Hindi literature, but due to certain financial difficulties, I had to discontinue my education midway. I used to help my father in his Kolhapuri chappal business until 2004 in the old city but later, because of the emergence of new ready-made shoe varieties in the market, there was a massive downfall in the demand and we had to shut our shoe business eventually.
Later, with the support of two of my close friends, I ventured into the book-selling business in 2005. It was a profitable business earlier before digitization took over and there were days when I had to restock the books within 3 days. Such was the demand for novels and nonfiction books back then. I remember selling the Harry Potter series to at least 5 customers a day. However, there has been a sharp decrease in my business, especially since 2020. People these days are more fascinated to read on their smartphones and there is a huge drop in the number of youngsters stopping by the nearest bookstore. It certainly impacts our business
A lot of booksellers and customers agree that the availability of online platforms and the Covid 19 has impacted the bookselling business drastically. Yes, I do agree with the fact that people could order them online but I believe shopping for books physically is a completely different feeling altogether. I think it’s also the responsibility of the parents to introduce the habit of book reading to their children and limit digital consumption for their physical and emotional well-being.”
- Mohan, Bookseller