Self-confessed book lovers will agree that second-hand books have a charm of their own. Much of that comes from scouting around for a long-forgotten title, hard-to-find authors or old editions and bagging these at unbelievable prices. Simply put, shopping for second-hand books is one tempting treasure-hunt. Here are Delhi’s second-hand book bazaars.
Perhaps the best known and nationally famous spot to find second-hand books at literally dirt-cheap rates is Daryaganj Sunday Book Bazaar. Over the last three decades, every Sunday the 1.5 km stretch from Delhi Gate to Jama Masjid has been occupied by booksellers and all kinds of books under the sun. The crowds can get overwhelmingly claustrophobic, but brave souls nevertheless dig away through piles of books to strike gold. Make the most of the winter months bagging the best buys.
From Karol Bagh to Connaught Place, Vasant Vihar to Paharganj, second-hand books are available in Delhi aplenty, less at a proper bookstore and more at the conspicuous pavement vendors. Standing cheek by jowl with the erstwhile Plaza Cinema at H Block Connaught Place is Anil Book Corner, a shop that has been around for over two decades.
Although this one can’t be strictly called a second-hand bookstore, a lot of the books here have been collected by exchange. You could buy books from anywhere, read them and then give them to this shop in exchange for a book of your choice. For many Delhiites, Anil Book Corner is a lovable nook for such books.
While shopping for second-hand books, do remember to visit Vasant Vihar’s Basant Lok Shopping Complex (near PVR Priya) and Saket Community Centre (near PVR Saket). The bookstalls have nothing glamorous to write home about but if you are a true bibliophile, this is where you’d be seen lurking around. All kinds of comic books, from Phantom to Tintin, Mills and Boons romances, novels, magazines can be found here. You’d also find all the latest titles and the usual best sellers. The price of course depends on how well you can bargain!
Here’s to the joy of frayed pages and dusty covers. Happy hunting!