Are you someone who loves to buy books but ends up never reading them? Japanese describe such people as tsundoku. Or are you someone who loves to read but are always short of cash when it comes to buying a new copy? In either case, circulating libraries always comes as a big advantage. Circulating libraries in Mumbai are institutions that lend books to their members for a specified period, usually for a fee.
These libraries have been a part of Mumbai's culture for many decades, providing access to books and other reading materials to people who might not be able to afford to buy them. There are some popular names–including The British Council Library, and The Asiatic Library, among others in Mumbai. But do you ever roam around the city and witness small bookstores with a huge collection of books in them? Some could be bookstores but some are circulating libraries that you might be missing out on.
So, we decided to bring to your attention these circulating libraries that are happily promoting the reading culture in India. Here you go!
Prathmesh Library, Borivali |
Prathmesh Library, Borivali
This library in Mumbai started in 2010 when the owner Sudhakar Morey wished to revive his love for books. Morey was a wholesale distributor back in the 1980s and used to put exhibitions in Pragati Maidan, Delhi and also supplied books to Nalanda Book Library near the famous Taj Palace Hotel, Colaba. But, after the 2008 Taj attack, he went through a huge loss and stopped working for a while. However, later on, he was given a place in Borivali where he could start his own circulating library. In 2010, Morey started the library and charges Rs 400 as a refundable deposit and Rs 400 every month for which readers can exchange unlimited books. He has lakhs of books in his collection, and children or old age group people make the most of his readership. It is a small place from where you can also purchase books.
Time: 9.30 am to 1.30 pm and 5.30-8.30 pm
Address: SHOP NO 1, Bhushan Heritage, C-wing, Padma Nagar, Chikuwadi-Borivali West, Mumbai (Near Phoenix Hospital)
Victoria Library, Mahim
This is one of the oldest circulating libraries in Mumbai. Victoria Music House and Circulating Library was started in the 1950s by his grandfather, said Iqbal Merchant, who is the current owner of the library. His grandfather had a knack for collecting books. Then, his father took over, followed by his two sons. You will find another library with the same name just adjacent to this library as the two brothers split up in the last few years. Merchant says that people visit the library from all over Mumbai. However, the readership is mostly young children and old age people. He has a wide range of books in a small library. The monthly subscription is for Rs 250 bucks for unlimited books.
Time: 9.30 a.m. to 9.30 p.m. on weekdays; 11.30-5 pm on Sunday
Address: Shop No.112, Lady Jamshedji Road, Mahim, Mumbai - 400016 (Next to Sitaladevi Temple)
Kishor Circulating Library, Andheri |
Kishor Circulating Library, Andheri
This library in Andheri West is owned by Chandrakant Kishor Sheldkar. While Sheldkar took over the library only in 2019, it is running for the past 25 years. It has a wide range of books from genres including action, crime, romance, and historical romance, among others. Usually, Sheldkar said that his readership includes middle-aged and old people. Young children often prefer online books, he said. The monthly subscription is Rs 200 for unlimited books with Rs 300 as a deposit. His most preferred books include romance and legal thrillers.
Time: 10 am to 1 pm and 4-8 pm
Address: Kamgar Nagar, Navkiran Marg, Andheri West, Mumbai - 400053 (Near Fish Market)
Jai Jawan Book Centre, Ghatkopar
This little library located in the narrow streets of Ghatkopar has an extensive collection of books from various genres. Founded in 1968 by Vanraj Kalvani and currently managed by his son Jayesh, Jai Jawan Book Collection has gained a following among residents of Kurla, Chembur, and Thane. Although Jayesh is not certain about the exact number of books in their possession, he estimates it to be around 100,000. The library allows unlimited borrowing of books per month, but book exchanges are limited to every four days. Additionally, they offer annual memberships, and you can contact them to inquire about the fees.
Time: 10 am to 8.30 pm
Address:Shop No. 2 Neem Chhaya Building, Joshi Lane, M G Road, Ghatkopar East, Mumbai - 400077 (Opposite Ramji Asher School)
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