The city which has the honour of having the first state library in the state is gasping for readers
THE ADVENT OF ONLINE PORTALS LIKE FLIPKART, AMAZON OFFERING HEAVY DISCOUNTS EVEN ON NEW ARRIVALS SOUNDED THE DEATH KNELL FOR BOOK STORES
Bookstores in the city, which had the privilege of setting up the first state library in the state, are losing their sheen. Just out of about half a dozen bookstores in 1990s is in business now. The last one to be shut down was Biblio, which was a hit with youngsters as it had the facility of renting books to its members. Now a days ,Readers’ Paradise, on the Bhupindra Road is the only bookshop which is throbbing and surviving in the times when people are averse to holding printing pages in their hands. The shop is the city’s only window to magazines and different categories of general books, including fiction and non fiction. Vishnu Chhabra, owner of Readers’ Paradise says that till 1996 his establishment was doing a brisk business. However, the sale of books and magazines started dipping after 1996 with internet becoming popular. The advent of online portals like Flipkart, Amazon offering heavy discounts even on new arrivals sounded the death knell for book stores. He said he had opened Archies gallery on the first floor of his establishment. A stationary section offering a variety of premium brand pens (in the range of Rs800-Rs 15000), fancy watches, wall clocks, table clocks, cards and gifts to stay in business. Chhabra said he was determined to stay in business despite all odds. He said he has been in business since 1982 and has seen many ups and lows. Though Patiala boosts of a Central State Library, it is in poor shape because of paucity of grants from the government. Since it has hardly any new arrivals, it fails to attract readers.
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