V
Varuna Mohite

'Fact and Fiction' was one of my favourite haunts when i lived in Delhi, 15-20 years ago. I remember asking the owner to import a book for me (this was before Amazon). For three years, until recently, i lived in Bangalore where my favourite bookshops, Blossoms and Bookworm, sold (and bought) hundreds of excellent secondhand books. I have spent many happy hours browsing these shelves and came across many old or unavailable books (like Bernard Malamud, Willliam Trevor, many more), often in very good condition. When you sell your old books to Blossoms or Bookworm you do not receive cash but a coupon to buy old or new books from them. Perhaps this is the way forward for bookshops? Another suggestion is setting up large, paying, physical libraries with secondbooks, bought or donated. Many people don't know what to do with old books. Until Amazon came along, it was libraries which offered you all the books you wanted to read but couldn't find in bookshops. From British Library, to USIS libraries, to Gymkhana Club libraries, to the neighbourhood circulating libaries (now sadly defunct), I grew up in the seventies and eighties reading largely borrowed books. In those days books were expensive and die-hard bookworms like me borrowed books.