Jul 14, 2022

Bookstores and reading

 Last weekend, I had been to Forum mall (now renamed Nexus mall) after a long time. The usual routine is to step into Landmark and spend some time in the books section. I felt sad to see that the books section is now moved to a corner of the store.

When Landmark first opened in Forum mall, the lower floor was exclusively allocated to books, while the upper floor used to have DVDs, audio CDs, stationery, and gifts. I remember spending hours, browsing through bookshelves, reading a few pages, and picking a few books to buy, whenever we visited Forum mall.

Crosswords in Residency Road used to be one of my favorite places. It has shut shop, and so is Crosswords in Phoenix Market City. Sapna and Blossoms are still around and continue to remain a hangout spot for bibliophiles like me.

As I wondered why the bookstores are no longer finding it viable to run their business, these are the reasons that came up:
- Customers shifting to online book purchases where they get attractive discounts
- Rising real estate costs
- Reading as a habit/hobby on the decline

I hope I'm wrong on the 3rd reason.
Reading offers tremendous benefits, especially in this hyper-connected digital world. Here are a few:
- Shifts our perception and understanding
- Improves our ability to focus
- Improved attention and concentration
- A deeper understanding of ideas and concepts
- Opening up to newer perspectives
- Increased vocabulary
- Improved confidence to converse on a range of topics

The list goes on.
Do nurture this beautiful and life-changing habit, if you were a reader earlier or if you have a deep down yearning to be a reader.

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