Strand Book Stall has closed its doors and it seems like the end of an era. If you are wondering where you can go to get that legendary customer service or access to that brilliant collection, we’ve got you covered. This list covers some of the best independent bookstores in Mumbai- from Ballard Estate to Powai. Each of these bookstores has its own specialty- from curated collections to special discounts and library services.
Wayword and Wise
This bookshop is special because of its unparalleled collection. The carefully curated collection may not cater to everyone, but you will find shelves dedicated to erotica, LGBT themes, and literary criticism. Prepare to go over budget as you find books on quirky and quaint themes which you didn’t know people were writing about. Some interesting books you may find: The Book Lover’s Cookbook, a cookbook featuring recipes inspired by popular novels, Object Lessons: The Paris Review Presents the Art of the Short Story, a collection of 20 short stories which epitomise the art of short story writing and The Written World, a book on the power of literature to change the world and shape our lives.
Getting there: Strategic house, 44, Mint Rd, Ballard Estate.
Ensure that you have a few hours before you wander into this bookshop. Kitab Khana has it all- a beautiful ambience, a brilliant collection and an in-house cafe to grab a drink while taking a break from browsing. Add to that friendly service, a knowledgeable staff, and their willingness to order (and even import) books for you. If that isn’t enough, there is a flat 20% off on all the books. The special “Reserved Books” shelves near the cashier are great to discover books and take a peek at what people are ordering.
Getting there: 45-47, M.G.Road, Somaiya Bhavan, Ground Floor, Flora Fountain, Next to Davars College, Kala Ghoda, Fort.
Spread over 2,100 square feet, Trilogy is more than just a bookstore, it also serves as a lending library and a venue for literary events. It is heavily curated and prides itself on catering to the serious reader. It also has an excellent children’s books collection. If you are not much of a book-collector, their membership plans will be perfect for you, and they cater to a variety of budgets and requirements.
Getting there: 1st floor, Building no 28, Raghuvanshi Mills Compound, Lower Parel.
Title Waves uses its 8,000 sq. ft. space well: You won’t find any narrow aisles or cramped spaces here. The store is clean and books are displayed in easily accessible and well-organised shelves. In addition to books, you will also find a small section of collectibles including light sabres, superhero figurines and a variety of T-shirts and posters. In case you want to get your waffle on, head to Di Bella Café which has an outpost next door. Title Waves also holds events, such as the upcoming launch of Centrepiece on March 4. If you live in Bandra, this is a great place to spend a few hours and maybe combine book shopping with coffee and dessert with your friends.
Getting there: Opp. Duruelo Convent School, 24th Road, Off Turner Road, Bandra (W)
Juhu Tara Road
Established in 1999, the recently re-vamped Granth Bookstore in Juhu is spread across 3,300 square feet of eye-pleasing space. Beautifully decorated with jazz playing in the background, lots of natural lighting, and ample seating space overlooking Juhu Tara Road, Granth also has a separate area for book launches and events. While they don’t have a full-fledged in-house café yet, they do serve coffee.
Getting there: 30/A, HM House, Juhu Tara Rd, Opp. Rotary Club, Chandrabai Nagar, Santacruz West.
This bookstore may not be large in size but it makes up for it in the diversity of its collection. The staff is friendly, knowledgeable and will happily recommend books to you. You can browse for as long as you like and when you finally take your purchases to the counter, you’ll find a cool 10% discount waiting for you. We love that it showcases a lot of the lesser-known Indian and regional authors.
Getting there: Sneha Building, Shop No.5, Lokhandwala Shopping Complex, Andheri West.
Vasundhara Book Shop
One of Mumbai’s hidden treasures, this bookstore has a large collection of Hindi and regional literature, as well as translated (Hindi and Marathi) versions of both national and international works. It is also one of the few places where you can find a selection of Hindi magazines from around the country. The owners pride themselves on curating books which you are unlikely to find in chain stores.
Getting there: 602, Gateway Plaza, Central Avenue, Hiranandani Gardens, Powai.
Have you been to any of these bookstores? Are there any bookstores we’ve missed? Share with us in the comments below.