Indore (Madhya Pradesh): The hype of reading books and the excitement of collecting books like Champak, Chacha Chaudhary and others is increasingly becoming history. The days of people fighting over new editions of novels seem to be over. Bookstores, libraries and reading cafes in Indore are drying up as demand for novels or hardcover and paperback books has dropped dramatically.
Hunaid Haidry, owner of a bookstore, says: “The demand for novels and other books has recently decreased in the city. People mainly opt for textbooks and other study materials. There is a demand for short story books and the like by theater artists, but the general hype is not so great.
While the city offers plenty of cafes and cozy reading spaces, the influx of books has all but dried up. Himanshu Soni, owner of a cafe with a reading area, says people are not interested in the books on display. All they care about is the food and the ambiance. He adds, “Our shelves are full of books of many genres, but what people are asking for is just food. There is nothing wrong with what they are asking for, but the purpose behind creating our place, which was to provide a warm atmosphere for readers, is not fulfilled. Our previous coffee branch with the same concept was permanently closed because no one took the initiative to read in the space made available to them.
“Popularity of Online Copies”
“The declining demand for paper books in the market is a result of the popularity of online copies and PDFs being made available to the public. With the emergence of online books and apps like Kindle and others, people prefer to buy electronic copies of books.
— Shantanu Khandelwal, bookstore owner
“Piracy is a problem”
“People prefer to buy cheap books and those that can be made available to them through pirated media”
—Himanshu Soni, owner of a reading cafe
“Fewer readers here”
“Indore’s readership is much lower than that of megacities. Many come here to request books related to their field of study’
— Hunaid Haidry, bookstore owner
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