Premier Book Shop – an update

Reading the developments about Premier Book Shop (and writing about it here) I knew I had to visit it during my last trip to Bangalore.

It’s always good to see Mr. Shanbhag. His shy smile and gentle demeanour puts one at ease. None of that grim & efficient looks that one gets at other ‘modern’ and ‘sophisticated’ bookshops. The place is as one can always picture it in the mind’s eye: chaotic at first sight but a regular visitor knows the pattern of its layout & organization!

My concern, first, and my support, next, to him were both taken with stoicism & philosophically.

Still, he expressed happiness with the fount of goodwill that comes his way everyday from supporters, far and near; however, it will be ‘commercial considerations’ alone by the owners that will ultimately decide the fate of the bookshop.

I was reminded of these 2 lines from a recent article in Deccan Herald by Suresh Menon:

The owners of the building that now houses Premier want to modernise and make more out of their golden goose than the traditional single egg per day…

Then, without much ado, he returns to his table to do what he does, in my opinion, best: egging on the buying/reading/book-hoarding habit of customers with his special discounts!


I put aside my sadness and did what I do best: splurge but not before I raised a toast to him & Premier!


4 Comments so far

  1. Sanket (unregistered) on April 28th, 2006 @ 1:04 pm

    Have been to Premier. I second your views on Mr. Shanbhag. Did Premier move? Where?

  2. Ravi (unregistered) on April 28th, 2006 @ 5:19 pm

    Dear Sanket,
    Premier has not yet – & I fervently hope it doesnt – moved! Its still at Church Street and will always remain there in patrons’ hearts!

  3. NParry (unregistered) on April 29th, 2006 @ 1:28 am

    In my days in the early 80s, Mr. Shanbhag was quite grumpy and we’d have to go to KC Das to make ourselves a bit happy after a visit to Premier. But the guys at the British Council library across the street took the prize for the grumpiest and most “colonial” attitude.

  4. Suyog (unregistered) on April 29th, 2006 @ 9:51 am

    Somehow I have never felt comfortable with stuffy bookshops with books piled up and scattered all over the place. Before the advent of Crossword, I cannot think of a single place where you could just relax and browse through books. So Landmark (hate the crowds there though) and Crossword are a pleasure to shop for books. But maybe I am in the minority here :-)

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