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Second hand bookshops of Old Bangalore

Much before the present Bookchor and 'fill the box' and 'books by weight' flourished, old second hand books were sold by hundreds in the 70s till early 90s in the Old City areas of Balepete, Avenue road and Mysore bank circle. There used to be a few Malleswaram -Surya stores near 10th cross, Lavanya pustaka loka near Navarang theatre and Sudha stores near Rajajinagar Rama mandira. We as students were such book lovers back then, some of us happily qualified to even 'book worms'.

Balepete was down the road from Old Majestic theatre opp upparpet police stn. Mostly Kannada detective fiction unavailable otherwise in print form was to be searched and found on its narrow crowded footpaths. Many Kannada detective thriller novels of N Narasimhaiya and Jinde Nanjundswamy, TK Ramarao and others were picks at least once a month or as my pocket money would allow. Others like James Hadley Chase, Erle Stanley Gardner, Arthur Hailey, Alistair MacLean etc came next in my College days. I was a voracious reader addicted to books and liked nothing better. Besides it suited my small budget of say, 10-20-50 rupees... Used Text books were mostly sold in the Avenue road and surroundings. I have sold and bought many of my Engineering text books there for years. Recently I took a stroll in the Balepet gallis and was shocked that not one such pavement book seller was available there. Maybe some are left on Avenue road areas? Sad state of affairs indeed. Reading habits have undergone a sea change and have sounded a death knell to the pulp fiction business. Internet, ebooks, and movies have swayed the young generation away from reading fiction like we did. Anyone with similar memories in Cantt areas and others share your pics and post them.. Remember those golden reading days??

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