They say “You cannot buy happiness, but you can buy books!”

The faint, sometimes musty smell of paper, the rows and rows of books, the anticipation of landing your eyes on something super interesting are what make a visit to a bookstore exciting. In a day and age when reading seems to be a waning habit, and the lure of technology drags children away from the quaint charm of books, I always wondered how I would get my children to stick to reading. Living in a town with hardly any bookstores and having to depend on amazon for book hauls, the first thing we would do when we visited any city, was to find the nearest book store . Unfortunately, most big chain bookstores would have a woefully uninspiring collection in their children’s section.

There seemed to be the same old Enid Blytons, Nancy Drews, Harry Potters and Roald Dahls. On the other end of the spectrum would be hash of Jataka Tales and Moral stories by varied different publishers!

Until we found these gems run by independent owners who, I feel, knew the pulse of each book loving child who set foot in their store.

  1. Blossom book shop, Bengaluru.

Book lovers in Bangalore are no strangers to this place, and my only grouse is that I discovered it quite late! I was introduced to this place by one of my teachers and it has been a constant favourite ever since. The store is owned by Mr. Mayi Gowda, who knows almost every book in the store. There are books of almost every genre and a whole floor dedicated to children’s books, both new and second hand. Oh, the pleasure of spotting bundles of old Indrajal comics and The stories of phantom carefully wrapped in plastic!

  1. The English Book shop, Chandigarh.


We found this place on a very cold wintery night. The road was deserted, save a few hawkers selling colourful cotton candy and hot momos. We walked on the pavement slightly jittery and worried that we might be mugged and cursing the person who recommended the store. And then, we walked into a seemingly small, but brightly lit shop filled with books enough to drive away our blues. Needless to say we spend the better part of two hours browsing, and got out to an even more deserted road, but mighty pleased with our haul.

  1. The Dog ear book store, Madgao.

This is a very tiny but special book shop on a small lane in the middle of Madgao, in South Goa. It has a very beautiful collection of children’s books from publication houses we have rarely heard of, and stories written by Indian authors. What makes this store even more interesting is the fact that they have a huge collection of books on Goan history, cuisine and culture. When the size of a store is small, what they choose to keep on their shelf has to be  super curated. Which is probably why each book you pick here feels worthy of buying. They even have a collection of beautiful vintage maps!


  1. Akshara book house, Haasan.


This store deserves a special mention, because it is very rare to find a great  selection of books in a city, which is not Bangalore! Their collection of kannada children’s books is beautiful and they have a lot of titles which have been translated from English.Their children’s collection occupies a huge corner, again rare to find in smaller cities. The owner has a love for books which shows in his recommendations, all of which my kids loved reading.


  1. Light room bookstore, Bangalore

I found this store quite by accident on my instagram page. This store is housed in a small two storied building in a green, quiet lane in Bangalore. The store is exclusively dedicated to children’s books, which is rather rare to find. It was started by Aashti Mudnani . The books are well chosen and showcased so beautifully, that it is a real treat to browse this store. For example, they have a picture book of “A brief history of nearly everything” and a picture book about the periodic table! They do book readings and small workshops for children.  Therefore, a must visit.


Are there any book stores for kids that you have been to and loved??


About the Author

Preethi Shanbhag


My name is Preethi Shanbhag. I am a psychiatrist and a mother. In my free time I love to read, write, travel and cook.

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