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Raid the Bookstore : Quill and Canvas, South Point Mall, Gurgaon

Bookstores are a threatened lot. Not only are small bookstores suffering, even the larger chains are struggling to stay afloat. It isn't that people aren't buying books. It is just that online shops often offer better deals and many books are available as e-books. It makes buying books more affordable and convenient. I am in favor of e-books, especially because I am also passionate about nature, and e-books play a huge role in saving paper. But at the same time, I am a romantic when it comes to books and bookstores and I hate to see bookstores closing down and those that are braving it all, struggling to stay afloat. Running a bookstore in today's world requires passion and persistence. And individuals who invest in bookstores need to be applauded and deserve all our support.

Back to Bookstores is just one such attempt to extend our support to bookstores. This is a group of passionate book lovers, who cherish the times when visiting a bookstore to buy books was a norm and those who love the romance of walking through the aisles admiring book spines, covers, flipping through the random book that manages to catch their fancy. And out of discussions in the group, the concept of a "Raid" on a bookstore every month evolved.

Yesterday, we had the first such Raid, and the target was a bookstore plus art gallery called Quill and Canvas in South Point Mall, Gurgaon. Author Kathryn Brettell joined us for a bit to talk about her memoir The Olive Picker. We discussed about abuse, our inability to recognize certain types of abuse, about the challenges of writing a memoir, among other things. It was an interesting discussion.

And then Shobha took us around the bookstore and introduced us to some very evocative canvases of renowned artists and talked about the books she has chosen for her bookstore. Weather did manage to play spoilsport though and only a few people were able to make it to the event. Special thanks to Kathryn, her husband Peter, her friend Jane, Vineeta B Chaturvedi, Atanu Dey, Vikas Vijayovich Datta, and Dipankar Mukherjee for braving the heat and making it to the event. And a round of applause for Shobha Sengupta, the owner of Quill and Canvas, for playing the perfect host for the event.

If you are in the area, I strongly recommend a visit to Quill and Canvas, not only for its eclectic collection of book, but also for its fine collection of art, handpicked by Shobha.

We will soon be announcing our next raid. Join the group if you want to be a part of this insanity.


  1. Very interesting concept. Thumbsup to you, naturally.I would have loved to join you ... but alas, I am over 5000 km away. In any case, good luck to you and your crusaders. May the next "invasion" be a larger, more crowded one.

    On a more serious note, though, I fully agree with your assessment. Certainly it has become easier to buy books online, and not just the hard copy ones. Even the e-books will do. Prime among those are the Kindle books from amazon. They are so nifty and they are delivered wirelessly to as many devices of yours that have the Kindle app.


  2. Thank you for your comment, Dr Taher. And Amen to your wishes of a larger raid.

    E-books have indeed made it so convenient for books to be delivered anywhere. I am totally in the favour of e-books My only concern is that the traditional way of reading books shouldn't die like many other traditions have with the advent of information revolution. We need to strike a balance.


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