Good old physical bookshops have been shutting down across the world, partly driven by the convenience of buying online or reading e-books but also the changing habits of people consuming content through blogs, podcasts and videos. But many of us though still enjoy the experience of a bookshop. It is that festive time of the year where if you are gifting books to your near and dear ones or if you are lucky to holiday in another part of the world after a long time, you might find of use this compilation by the FT team of some of the most iconic bookshops from across the world – from Santorini to Sichuan, from Tokyo to Tangier. Here’s an excerpt from the article on one of our favourites in Mumbai – Kitab Khana.
“When the motorcycles, shouting hawkers and stalls sizzling with frying snacks get too much, Kitab Khana – a spacious, wood-panelled bookshop in a colonial-era building in Mumbai’s southern Fort neighbourhood – makes for welcome respite from the heat and bustle. The store, named after the palace libraries kept for Mughal emperors (it means “a home for books”), stocks an intriguing variety of Indian and international authors, including collections in languages such as Hindi and Marathi, with staff on hand to provide guidance and cosy nooks in which to read. A programme of regular talks and readings and an in-house café round out the offering. The shop has made a recent comeback after a fire last year devastated its interior and destroyed tens of thousands of books. Benjamin Parkin”

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