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Stacks of Books Are To Be Found for Sale on Many Corners
Owners of bookstores and street side book sellers, provide a great service around the world. Many countries cannot afford libraries. Some countries have one library in their capital city or several cities, but cannot afford libraries in rural areas.
While internet phones are ubiquitous no one can do research or any serious reading on a mobile phone and many people around the world do not have regular access to the internet. Tablets and pads which provide downloadable books and magazines via the internet are fine for convenience when you are commuting to work or traveling long distances, but they do not provide important scholastic, academic, small press publications and probably most importantly, books that are out-of -print.
Text Books as well as Leisure Reading
Chos Spyod - Publishes Tibetan Buddhist Books
Possibly we’ve never seen the Name of this bookstore but it stays busy
The most exciting thing about browsing in a bookstore, is the SURPRISE book you come across by accident. The book that will open the doors for you as to how to do something well, or entertain you when you are feeling down, or open a whole new world you didn’t know existed to you.
The two bookstores below, carry selections from the saints and mystics of all the Indian traditions and many from Judaism, Christianity and Islam, as well. If you were to enlarge the photos in this article, you will find New Age Classics, such as Ram Dass’s “Be Here Now,” selections from “Rumi,” books on treking in the Himalayas, the author, Umberto Eco and the book the Hobbit.
Millions of people come to India for inspiration and spiritual edification. But to come to India without
stepping inside their many independently owned bookstores would be a shame. This is a tribute to
India’s independent purveyors of knowledge.
Please take a tour on this website of some of our favorites. If you plan to visit North India, follow our
footsteps - or at least some of them.
Connaught Place - Delhi
(This is just a sampling of Book Purveyors)
Majnu Ka Tilla - Tibet Colony, Delhi
Here is a photo of Sherig Parkhang Bookstore in the Tibet Colony. You'll See a book on Dr. Martin Luther King in the window translated into Tibetan.
If you decide to visit the Tibet Colony, there are now three bookstores and at least four very fine
coffee houses, where you can enjoy a new book in a relaxing and enjoyable environment.
Hrishikesh, The Yoga Capital of the World
An obvious example of small press publications that you are unlikely to get on a “pad” or “tablet,” are several noted in this article: most private ashram publications, specialty foreign publications, such as the famous Gita Press (see photos below) and books published by the Spyod Bookstore whose books are of interest to Tibetans or students of Tibetan philosophy and culture. (See Spyod Book Shop in the photos in Delhi.) Downloading is impermanent, unless a library is kept by individuals in a hard drive with a backup hard drive. Additionally technology changes, so that a hard drive that can be connected to a computer in 2014 may not be useable in 2030.
This Book Store treats it’s Environment as Holy, Everyone takes their shoes off before stepping inside
This Little Beauty sells moderately priced hardcover Classics from the Ramakrishna Mission Publishers
Gita Press Book Stores
Part of Gita Publishing & the Gita Press Ashram
Increasingly precious books are being lost and have become unavailable. If you don’t have room to keep a library, try to find a way to store fragile, old, possibly controversial and rare books on a hard drive with a backup. Form Book Associations to store and protect disintigrating documents. Many science clubs consisting of members who have an interest in lets’ say in “reptiles”, rely on some books that have been unexcelled for 50 years, but those books are commonly out of print. Specialty, amature associations should be among the first to preserve books that are out of print.
India has a problem that many countries in Africa have. That is, nearly every state in India has a state language. Hindu is the national language and most books are published in either Hindu or English, usually both. Those people including many children who speak only a state language are deprived of the opportunity to read many books. The knowledge they will have access to throughout their life will be much less than that of individuals who read either Hindi or English. Tribal languages in Africa often create a similar problem for people there, since few publishers are going to publish in numerous tribal languages existing within one country.
McLoud Ganj Home of H.H. The Dalai Lama & Many Monasteries
Lama Reading In a Café
The greatest danger of relying solely on e-books is that corporations providing the download of e-books via the internet, may just decide not to make available something they deem controversial; perhaps a book critical of corporate lobbying or political corruption. Censorship in the hands of corporations that withhold information or knowledge needed by a population is extremely dangerous.
Hill’s has Books on everything & will trade Books for a Discount. - Embrace traded a much enjoyed Gabriel Garcia Marquez for an educational book on Sikhism here.
Bookworm keeps a healthy selection of children’s books
We missed photographing the Buddha Bookstore on the lane leading to the main temple in McLeod Ganj. If you are visiting bookstores in McLeod Ganj, don’t overlook it. Buddha Bookstore is also placed admist a number of coffee houses. All coffee houses also serve tea (chai) as well.
Support bookstores, especially independent bookstores. Those that deal in used books hold our past, as well as the present. All book stores provide a valuable service to their communities. If you are lucky enough to have a library, Embrace it, charish it and support it. If you or your associates have the means to collect, protect or preserve out of-print books, make it your gift to the world. Preserve knowledge, revere curiosity.