Kitab Khana is undoubtedly my favorite bookshop. I had walked by it a hundred times and never noticed it in the shadow of all the high end stores and bank headquarters that happen to be along this lane. But when I came to know about it, I got hooked to it, and just couldn’t miss it anymore.
It is housed in a heritage structure which is almost 150 years old! The ambience blends with the old charm of Lost Book land with wafting smells of coffee. KitabKhana boasts of a range that posits Paulo Coelho against Bhagavat Puranam, Ibsen’s plays to Manto’s acerbic angst; a platform that encourages all creative pursuits.
With its intellectual, library-like ambience, the store has ‘proper’ dark wooden bookshelves, piles of books on tables as you walk in and a balustraded mezzanine level above you. It’s worth a look just for the interior. The only thing that is missing is a bit of dust! And there is a little area set aside for children and you will find a vegetarian café at the back, appropriately named ‘Food for Thought’, that serves amazing food too.
Kitab Khana stocks all the classics – from both English literature as well as Indian. And if you want to pick up some contemporary literature from Indian writers (in English), you will find it all here. As well as novels and biographies, the store also has the usual business management, IT, travel, cookery, health and other reference sections that you would find in a modern bookshop. I could honestly spend hours browsing in Kitab Khana.
A visit here is a must, but always make sure you have loads of time in hand when you come. You would get lost in this world, and forget the busy, noisy world outside and completely lose track of time as well.