What if I tell you that today I am taking you to a shop which is full of non-fiction books and you can get most of the world bestsellers, rare books and even first edition books in this shop? Yes, there is a shop with such a vast range of books in Delhi’s very own Khan Market.
I am talking about a 1951 established bookstore, Faqir Chand and Sons. Faqir Chand started as the Oriental Book Shop in Peshawar Cantonment in present-day Pakistan in 1931. The owner moved to Delhi following Partition and set up the same kind of bookshop in Khan Market—but named it after himself.
I met the fourth generation bookseller Abhinav Bamhi, who has already decided to take the responsibility of the store. He is in his early 20’s, her mother Mrs. Mamta is also a very sweet lady who has given her son the liberty to decide his own future and he decided to be a bookseller and has promised to carry forward the legacy of the past three generations. Abhinav is studying Literature from School of Open Learning (SOL), University of Delhi and is currently in his final year.
While talking to Abhinav, I discovered his passion for reading and selling. While asking about his hobbies, “to sell the book you need to know about the book. So, I read books and get to know about them” said Abhinav.
Today most of the youth are more towards reading e-books for better comfort and mobility factor of digital books. During our conversation, I asked Abhinav about the impact of ebooks on the sales of print books. According to him, the print books are back after a phase of ebooks, because whenever something new is introduced automatically the older things go out of fashion for a while but again the print book market is back to business or it never went out of business. The introduction of ebooks affected the sales for initial six months but after that everything was back to place.
The sales of books related to history and politics have a larger market in an area like Khan Market. It’s one of the most liked places by the bureaucrats, politicians, intellectuals and news personalities. It’s like a home for a very few delhiites and for a very few young friends. According to Mamta ji (Abhinav’s mum), “this store is basically visited by foreigners, politicians and famous intellectuals on daily basis and so we have books related to real lives, not fiction. We try to cater everyone’s demand and so we have a ratio of 70 nonfiction and 30 fiction books in our store.”
I hope Abhinav will continue to manage the shop as a legacy of his great grandfather Shri. Faqir Chand. I hope, this shop will continue to rise and shine.
If you want to visit Faqir Chand and Sons, here’s the address:
Faqir Chand and Sons
Shop no 15/A, Khan Market,
Rabindra Nagar, New Delhi,
Thanks for reading.