Thursday, March 12, 2009

Daryaganj’s Sunday book market

A book lover’s paradise, is how one can term this Sunday book market which is laid out on the pavements of Daryaganj every Sunday morning. From quiz books, old guides, GMAT, GRE books, Engineering books to fiction, pulp, romantic novels and of course coffee table books. How low are the prices? Well basement bargain – books available for as little as Rs. 10/- the only condition, one would have to weed through the mountain to come up with one’s favourite titles. Others range from Rs. 20 to Rs. 200 or more depending on the title and if it is imported. The sellers don’t mind if you weed through the books for sometime and leave without buying. (I often don’t). The book sellers are friendly and offer plenty of tips, advice and even directed me to the shop when I wanted specific titles. If it is not available just request the shopkeeper and he will help you get it. I did lay my hands on some beautiful old rare textile books and fiction (PG Wodehouse).

Location – The market starts on Daryaganj – one branching on the Golcha cinema stretch towards Old Delhi. It occupies a near 1 km stretch here. The other winding inside the first left hand turn after crossing Delhi Gate on Darya Ganj, into Asaf Ali Road. .

Timing – 6:30 – 7 am to 7:30 – 8 pm in the evening on all Sundays provided there are no restrictions from the authorities. This congested area is empty on Sundays when all establishments are closed. Ample space and parking is a breeze!

Highlight - It might be a flea market, but it is organized no doubt, most shops specialize in their offerings. Call it second hand, third hand or even first hand, the find is exhilarating!

Insider Tip - The trick of the trade – a full fledged breakfast, it does provide sustenance to weed through the books and go on to the next vendor with equal enthusiasm. The other virtue - patience to sift through the books. After the search, though there is plenty for fortification – Moti Mahal’s food, ubiquitous juice wallah – Raj Juice Corner for milk shakes and fruit juices, banta seller’s, Bisleri, Fanta and other cold drinks to the Chole Bhature dhabbas…that is another foodie story though!!!.

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