Book Buying in South Asia: call for submissions

Posted by lapata on February 28, 2010 · 1 min read

Update: Deadline is one week from today-- Sunday, March 7, 2010 at 12 noon EST

Dear Readers,

I am working on a post about book buying, browsing, searching in South Asia. I would like to solicit from you anecdotes and stories about looking for books in any language other than English while in South Asia. I have found when looking for Hindi books, for example, that it is very hard to browse for and discover books in Hindi bookstores. Below are the guidelines for submissions, which can be anonymous or named. Depending on volume, I may not be able to post everything I receive, but I will try to put up as many as I can, and summarize the rest.

Aap ki,


Format for submission:

1. Name (you can be anonymous, or choose initials)
2. Location (also can be skipped)
3. Language-literature you have experience looking for and where
4. Anecdote or description of how bookstores are organized for this language/literature, what kind of people go there, how un/appealing the book bindings are, etc.
5. Send me a photo of a bookstore, even if it's a cell phone picture
6. Email it to lapatastic [at] gmail [dot] com


sepoy | February 28, 2010

Sweet! My submission in coming. Here is the starter:: {{site.baseurl}}archives/homistan/urdu_kay_muhallay.html

desiknitter | February 28, 2010

Oh hey, mind it - half that starter is mine! But sending more to Lapata..

sepoy | February 28, 2010

All is yours, DK, all.

Aligarian | February 28, 2010

Danish Mahal: An Urdu bookshop in Lucknow

gaddeswarup | February 28, 2010

I mailed directly to lapata about Telugu books since it may not be of interest to many who visit this blog. If anybody else is interested please let me know at

Begam | February 28, 2010

Am even now regarding the anonymous, moldy and peeling bindings of Bangla monographs about the Derozio Crew--retrieved amid sneezes and other obstacles from emporia on College Street. Firangs looking for books in Cal in the early naughties often had to fend off Dominic Lapierre et al. offered with aggressive enthusiasm by book store Uncles who Clearly knew better than one one's self what One was really looking for. Acquisition of Bangla books requires cheery persistence and preferably the company of a local vernacular black turtle neck to gain cred, and therefore possible access beyond the textual Maratha ditch of Khushwant Singh, Ruskin Bond and other WT'er fodder.