Every book lover knows how exciting it is to see huge stacks of books after books, and knowing that you are going to leave with a number of them. It is even better when we find hidden gems like rare books and first editions at throwaway prices! Second-hand bookstore culture is an intricate part of Mumbai, and we bring to you 7 such second-hand bookstalls based in Mumbai to quench your thirst for books. So what you waiting for, go crazy already!
Flora Fountain is the hub for second-hand books, and with this shop, you are likely to get your fill of books. Focusing mostly on non-fiction books about arts, philosophy (both Indian and Western) and a plethora of vintage magazines, this shop has its share of brilliant fiction, too. From a meagre Rs. 10 to a whopping Rs. 60,000 for 12 volumes of The Arabian Nights, Mahavir Bookwala has something for everyone. You can also rent books on a monthly basis, or resell books at 40-50% of the cost.
Time: 9:30 a.m. – 9 p.m. (all days)
Getting there: Near TTO building, Flora Fountain, M.G. Road, Fort.
Contact: +91- 9892286228
Joshi Book Centre
This store has books from every genre – history, classics and educational books are some of them. With prices ranging from Rs. 20 to Rs. 500, Joshi Book Centre also boasts of rare books on Ancient India and Indian Royalty. Along with these, popular fiction from the likes of Sidney Sheldon, James Patterson, and Dan Brown can be spotted. Be sure to check this shop out as it rents out books and also has a buyback policy.
Time: 10 a.m. – 8:30 p.m. (all days)
Getting there: Below Oriental Building, Hutatma Chowk, Near Flora Fountain, M.G. Road, Fort.
Contact: +91- 7738264757
Vivek Book Depot
Vivek Book Depot mainly focuses on book fairs and book exhibitions, but operates out of a godown in Chembur. A number of vintage comics from Marvel and DC can be found here, and Indrajal Comics are available for the desi comic lover. Along with that, you’ll also find popular fiction and classics by Ayn Rand, Albert Camus and Kafka. You can also exchange the books you have bought. So go ahead, indulge yourself in these second-hand books which come at mind-boggling low prices.
Time: 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. and 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. (Mon – Fri)
Getting there: Shop No 2, Riddhi Siddhi Apartment, Opt Shankar Cinema, Tilak Nagar, Chembur (W), Mumbai.
Contact: +91- 9820730257
Siddhu’s Book Stall
Don’t let his name fool you as Hitler, the owner, is one of the sweetest guys you will ever meet. A collector of rare and antique books, he also sells popular fiction in English as well as regional languages. Here, you will find Archie comics, Ayn Rand’s The Romantic Manifesto, and Ayeen Akbery all under the same roof. If you are done reading your book and want to exchange it for another, you’ll get the new book at a discount. With prices ranging from Rs. 20 to Rs. 2,000, you will have the time of your life shopping for second-hand books at Siddhu’s Book Stall!
Time: 4 p.m. – 9 p.m. (all days)
Getting there: Near Jain Temple, Anand Bhavan Hotel, Matunga Circle, Matunga.
Contact: +91- 9892985583
Afzal Book Depot
Afzal Ansari is based out of a godown in Chembur. Specialising in rare items such as books by Behram Contractor and those that have been out-of-print, this is the perfect place for you to find that elusive book you’ve been wanting to get your hands on. You can contact the owner with your orders and, based on your preferences, he sends out messages whenever he gets a new collection. At Afzal Book Depot, you’ll also find the latest popular fiction, along with leather-bound classics.
Time: Call Afzal to find out when you should visit.
Getting there: Amar Mahal, Chembur (W), Mumbai.
Contact: +91- 9967960583
Victoria Book Centre
Since 1948, this shop at Mahim has been selling popular fiction, self-help books, children’s books and comics at a reasonable price. In addition to rare books, Victoria Book Centre also sells books by popular authors like Sidney Sheldon and Jeffrey Archer and has a selection of books in Marathi and Hindi. You’ll also find a collection of Mills & Boons books. The books here range from Rs. 20 – Rs. 200, and the bookshop also has an attached library where you can rent books.
Time: 10 a.m. – 9 p.m. (Mon- Sat) and 11 a.m. – 2p.m. (Sun)
Getting there: Between Sitladevi Temple & Victoria School, L J Road, Mahim, Mumbai.
Contact: +91- 9820654480
City Book Centre
City Book Centre stocks books by a lot of authors, and has been doing so for more than a decade. They set themselves apart by keeping books like Kurt Vonnegut‘s Jailbird, Alfred Hitchcock‘s Stories For Late At Night and The Complete Stories Of Franz Kafka, books that are not easily found in many second-hand book stores. They’ll also lend you books but make sure you don’t spoil them in any way.
Time: 10:30 a.m. – 9 p.m. (all days)
Getting there: Shop 5, Sukhmani Building, S.V. Road & V.P. Road Junction, Near Archies Gallery, Shree Ram Nagar, Andheri (W), Mumbai.
Contact: +91- 9820687745
Love second-hand books? Come and join us for Twice Told, our four-day celebration of stories featuring second-hand book sellers, translations, Adivasi literature, culinary treats, spoken word poetry, storytelling, and so much more! Get the details here.
Do you know of any other second-hand bookstalls in Mumbai? Feel free to share with us in the comments below.