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Friday, September 23, 2011


Who says reading has taken a backseat? From e-books and e-readers to online bookstores and book clubs, reading culture is more alive and kicking than ever. Rhea Dhanbhoora and Henna Achhpal tell you more about where and what to read…

It’s the age of technology, where glitzy TV sitcoms, big budget movies and video games seem to have replaced those good old evenings you used to spend with a steaming cuppa and a good book. But, don’t lament the loss of the little old bookstore’s you used to frequent just yet. It’s true that most of those little shops, with their cosy corners filled with intriguing books and shelves toppling over with classics, have made way for swanky bookstores. It’s also true that the advent of the e-reader has meant we had to say goodbye to most of our favourite walk-in libraries. But, reading culture hasn’t been swept under the carpet just as yet. Although we’ve made way for the new and improved age of reading, filled with shiny new gadgets that you can read millions of books on as well as online shops that have replaced browsing through bookstores; ink and paper books and stand alone bookstores haven’t completely vanished. We bring you the best of both worlds to help you get reading…

If you’re an enthusiastic reader and love discussing the book and its characters even after you’re done reading, a book club is the place for you to be.
Most book clubs are private and if you don’t know of any book club in your area, you can start one of your own. Here are a few things to keep in mind while starting your own book club to ensure that it survives:
  • Start with just a few core members. After each member has hosted once, you can choose to add one member each to the club. It’s best to keep the number of members limited so only people who are genuinely interested sign up.
  • Pick a day of the month to hold your meetings each month and stick to it.
  • Rotate the host each month who will be responsible for the venue and other communication during the month. Allow the host to pick the next book to read.
  • Picking a book can be difficult, so start with a popular book and once you discover each other’s likes and dislikes, you can go on to explore other genres and authors.
  • Don’t get stumped at the discussions. The best way to get the conversation started is by going prepared with a couple of questions or interesting themes you noticed while reading the book. You could even pick out an excerpt you loved that you would like to share with the rest of the group.
Join a club: Oxford Bookstore has two book clubs, Book Lovers Club for adults and the Book worms club for kids. For more information call 66364477
Skippy Dies
by Paul Murray 
If comedic reading is your thing, this tragic comedy should make it to your reading lists, filled with adolescent awkwardness and the disenchantment of adulthood.
Released August Price `399

The Enterprise of Death by Jesse Bullington
Sci-fi lovers pay attention. Based around a runaway Moorish slave in 16th century Europe, this book is fast paced, packed with occult and fantasy and quite engrossing.
Released March Price `715

The Golden Mean
by Annabel Lyon 
The book is a brilliant tale of one of history’s most intriguing relationships — between Aristotle and his most famous pupil, Alexander the Great.
Released September
Price `350

by Ruskin Bond
Everybody knows and loves Ruskin Bond, so it’s no surprise this made it to our top 5: Hot Off The Shelves, this latest collection of short stories from Dehradun by one of the country’s best loved storytellers should make it to your reading list this month.
Released September
Price `250
Birds, Beasts and Bandit
by Krupukar and Senani, Translated by S.R. Ramakrishna
This book is the result of wildlife photographers being kidnapped by a famous Indian bandit. It’s a witty and poignant account of two men and their adventures with the notorious Veerapan and is definitely a must read.
Released August Price `250
LIBRARY TALK Libraries have taken a backseat since e-books came into play but that doesn’t mean the city has a dearth of them:
David Sassoon
The architectural dream hosts a variety of literature in regional languages as well as books dating back to 1789.
Where: Kala Ghoda, Fort

British Council Library
The padded floors and quiet reading nooks will be missed, but it’s transgression into an e-library means it’s still one of the best places to run to when in need of a good read. Their quick, door-to-door service makes it easier to receive and return books as well.
Where: www.mylibrary.britishcouncil.org

The Asiatic Society of Mumbai
With over hundreds of thousands of books, a lot of them classified as rare and invaluable, to browse through, you’ll never have a dull moment in here.
Where: Town Hall, Horniman Circle, Fort

H.D. Kanga Memorial Sports Library
Although this library specialises in books based on and around sporting and sports, the library is extremely popular amongst people in the locality.
Where: Ground Floor, Wankhede Stadium, Church Gate, Mumbai

Jawaharlal Nehru Library
The main library of the University of Mumbai has almost a million books, documents and scientific journals along with a host of rare manuscripts.
Where: Kalina, Santacruz (E)

E-BOOK READERS Touted as the latest, most fashionable way to go green, the humble e-reader has come a long way. Take a look at the best there is to buy in the e-reader world:
Amazon Kindle The fully loaded Amazon Kindle comes with the latest E-Ink Pearl technology and a really good battery life, so you can read on the go without a care in the world. Price Approx `14,000 onwards

This budget friendly e-book reader is the perfect option for you if you want an e-book reader but can’t afford the heavyweights. Price Approx. `11,000
Sony Reader
The pocket edition Sony Reader is a great option as a small screen reader. It has a unique touchscreen design with sharp, responsive display. Price Approx. `6,000 onwards
Barnes and Noble Nook
This e-book reader is easy to use with its full colour touch screen and the advanced E-Ink 6 inch display with crisp fonts. Price: Approx. `13,000
With a lightweight design along with E-Ink technology and improved storage, the colourful e-readers are a good buy.
Price: Approx. `7,000 onwards
for the little ones
Reading is a habit which is best inculcated when you are young and considering the deteriorating reading habits these days, three women from Bandra — Vibha Kamat, Vaishali Shinde and Sonal Bimal, decided to take it upon themselves to encourage the habit in children. The space that Maharashtra Mitra Mandal had reserved for a public library was lying idle and that’s when the trio volunteered to turn it into a library, reading space and melting pot for children of various ages. With books collected by way of donations, the bright and colourful library will be functional in the first week of October with a ton of exciting activities and workshops planned as well.
Where: Princess Building, D’Monte Park Road, Bandra (W)
It’s not so much about saving money as much as it is about where the book has been. Second hand book stores are great places to discover books you would otherwise never have heard of...
Hutatma Chowk Bibliophiles are sure to find a lifetime of treasure at this buzzing area in Fort. However, beware of the duplicate copies.
Victoria Book Centre Near Victoria School, Mahim

The New & Second Hand Book Shop Kalbadevi, Marine Lines
City Book Center Sukhamani Building, Andheri (W)
N/books Rizvi House, 34/ 35 Hill Road, Bandra (W)

Tired of reading online or on your e-reader and want to grab hold of a good old book? There are a number of easy ways to shop for books without leaving home. Browse through and pick up your favourites with these online bookstores:
Simply Books
They make up for no cash on delivery with attractive discounts and free shipping across the country. Shop: www.simplybooks.in
The popular site has become a haven for those who love books, reading and experimenting.
Shop: www.flipkart.com

Odyssey 360
While they have all genres under the sun, graphic novel lovers will appreciate this one.
Shop: www.odyssey 360.com

Rediff Books
With over 3.5 million books, this site has a great collection.
Shop: books.rediff.com

Oxford Bookstore
You can buy books, interact with readers and writers and track your reading preferences. They inform you of the latest books in the genre of your choice too.
Shop: www.oxfordbookstore.com

Here are a few of the best places to either grab some e-books:



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