Paradise Gained

With due apologies to Milton, we are referring to the TOI article of yesterday titled ‘ Reader’s Paradise ‘ which states that reading / books is indeed on the upswing in Bangalore with data to prove it from a variety of sources.

Sample this:

By and large, Bangalore, believes Mayi (Gowda, Proprietor, Blossom Book House) has three types of readers. “The software type which picks up a lot of nonfiction titles like Rashmi Bansal’s book on entrepreneurship. Then there’s the gen-now reader which includes the college-going, non-techie students. They read fantasy books like Percy Jackson. Young girls like the Vampire Series. Gen-Now also likes books on musicians like Jimmy Hendrix, Pink Flloyd, Bob Dylan and Jim Morrison. The third set is the older generation which buys books on history and philosophy. Before Memory Fades and The Hindus are their current choices,” he says.

The article also has some data supplied from JustBooks inhouse member surveys ( with 50,000 books that are rented by our members, we should know!) that indicate:

  • People in different areas of Bangalore are reading diverse titles. Bangalore East, as per our data reads more non-fiction as compared to Bangalore South that is fiction heavy
  • Indian writing is more popular across genres in Bangalore South
  • Reading as a habit is pretty infectious
  • Reading as a habit does not seem to have a ‘gene’ relation

Other trends noticed:

  • Online buyers are of various age groups haiing from the smallest of towns and villages to large metros and cities across the country and buying up all sorts of books: technical, art & culture, philosophy and history-related — and across a multitude of subjects [ according to Sachin Bansal, CEO and co-founder, ]
  • “The bestsellers definitely have a shortened life span,” confirms Vivek Sankaran, director, Sankar’s
  • Coffee-table books also find their way into this purchasing segment, as being confirmed by both Sankar & Mayi Gowda

Apart from the above, the fact that there are a multitude of options available to the book reading public in Bangalore to either buy & rent books is bound to generate in them the feeling that can be described in one word:



2 thoughts on “Paradise Gained

  1. If Mayi Gowda’s classification is actually a reflection of Bangalore’s reading tastes, we don’t seem to have much to be proud of. I can only hope it is a sweeping generalisation, because some of us “software types” do look beyond Bansal and Bhagat, even if there is a horde out there looking to typify us as people with gnat-sized attention spans. I’m also glad I’m not a “young girl” if this category is captive to Stephanie Meyer’s dubious charms. Poetry, literature and contemporary writing (by which I do not mean Dan Brown and Stieg Larsson) don’t seem to find a mention anywhere. Maybe, if we cut down on the hype and the prices, we’ll have better quality reading available widely. One slim pulp fiction novella followed by another over a space of a few months isn’t really the ideal “reading habit”- if the authors of such books are helping people actually expand their horizons and encouraging them to read more, then there’d be something to say for it.

    Newspapers give us bestseller lists; it is also their responsibility in part to ensure that the right books make it up there.


  2. Too bad that there is no choice for buying second hand books in India.
    Amazon, etc offer a lot of such books for $0.01 with just the shipping cost added.

    Now that indian publishing has reached ridiculous prices like Rs 400 and more per new book – its about time for the above to kick off.

    If you can consider offering your own used books for sale (after having recovered most of the original cost via multiple reading rentals) , that would be a fine idea, I think.


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