I heard about this a while back, when I read Where browsing is a contact sport (Suresh Menon, Deccan Herald). If you’re going, ‘Premier, what’s that?’, then go read Bangalore’s premier bookshop , another DH article.
I visited Premier a couple of weeks ago and asked Mr. Shanbhag about the situation. He said, “Let’s see what happens,” or something to that effect. Apparently, he has till the end of April to find a new place. If you have a place in or around MG road that you’d like to lease out, I’m sure Premier’s regulars (me included) would confer on you honorary knighthood. If you know someone who knows someone, that’s fine too. Make it happen.
I don’t know what the situation is going to be–whether we will see Premier in a different place. I sure hope we do because there isn’t another bookstore like it in Bangalore. Or Hyderabad. Or Chennai. Or Columbus. I would say ‘the whole world’ but I’ve not been to that many places. It really is a one of a kind bookstore.
The discounts are fabulous but that’s only part of the reason to go there. Ask Mr. Shanbhag for a book and he’ll think for a couple of seconds and tell you whether he has the book in stock or not. No computer neeeded. And he’ll know most of the books that you mention.
The way the books are arranged, stacked one on top of the other, precariously placed, it’s a treat to be there and browse. It’ll take you a while to figure out how to remove a book without toppling the entire pile. It’s like that game, Jenga and it’s fun to watch when people topple books. Okay, so I have a slightly deviant sense of humour.
There’s nothing funny about the possibility of Premier closing down though. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that it doesn’t happen.