The Bangalore Railway Station had no bookstalls.

I was filled with dismay. As a child, buying books at railway station bookstalls was a tacit ritual each time we took a train journey. I would check out the copies of Chacha Chaudhary and Tinkle Digests I didn’t have at home. The few minutes of browsing and buying books were enchanting. When I grew older, these book stall visits would fetch me a novel, usually an Agatha Christie book I hadn’t read (or wanted to re-read).  

Fast-forward to December 2022 – when I took my first train journey after the pandemic struck – there were no bookstalls. There was a Gita Press store in Platform 1 of the Bangalore station and a Ramakrishna Mission book stall in Platform 1 of the Chennai Railway Station – and I bought books from both the stalls – but I still missed the good ol’ book stall containing all books. 

I wondered – why did the bookstalls close down?

  • Did the pandemic impact bookstalls?
  • Do children prefer to engage with a smartphone than read a book?
  • Do people read with kindles?
  • Do people prefer to make the economically better decision to buy their books on Amazon?
  • This 2018 article suggests that administrators made a policy decision to reduce stalls and decongest railway stations. 

Whatever the reason, the absence of bookstalls in railway stations made me sad. I now want to be an evangelist for books more than ever. Bookstores have been gradually shutting down. I hope books never go extinct. Community Round Up on Books

The community loves books. 

You can view the page on the topic books here. It is a good rabbit hole to fall into – it contains all things books. Bookmark this page and visit it whenever you feel like reading about books.

Here are some amazing thoughts on pertaining to books.

Top Reads of 2022 – Samurai Hetal Sonpal is an avid reader and has read 125 books this year. Asking a book-lover to choose their favourite books is like asking a parent which of their children is dearer to them. An Unenviable task. Hetal perseveres through and gives us his top 10 favorites among this list of 125 books along with a summary of each book.

How Deep Do You Go? – Cal Newport, a Computer Science Professor at Georgetown University, is better known for his bestsellers So Good They Can’t Ignore You, Deep Work and Digital Minimalism. Newport is an evangelist for doing deep and meaningful work and using technology to our benefit as opposed to becoming a slave to them.

Praasshant Dubey writes a wonderful article summarizing key lessons from the book. 

Magic Words by Tim David – One word can make a huge difference. Tim David offers seven simple words which contain great power behind them. Pooja writes a concise and compelling summary as to why you should read this book.

Read This, If You Want to Read in 2023 – You want to start a reading habit in 2023 but are unsure how to start? Riya Om offers you a variety of strategies and techniques to read more in 2023.

Why You Should Write About the Books You’ve Read – In this article I offer some reasons why you should write about the books you have read. Convinced already? Skip this post and write an article sharing your perspective about the books you read!

Some Book Recommendations – Rishi Sridhar shares 5 fiction books he enjoyed. His first recommendation To Kill a Mockingbird is on my to-read list after watching Gregory Peck’s wonderful performance in the movie adaptation.  

Maxims of Emanicipation – Vikas M offers a glimpse into Yoga Sutras of Patanjali by Swami Prabhavananda. Vikas has written other articles summarizing spiritual books which are must-reads.

Q & A Threads on Books

Which is your favorite book authored by Om Swamiji? – This thread started by Chandrika Shubham Saini a year ago has been doing another set of rounds recently. Read what is the favorite Om Swami book of fellow denizens, and chime in with your own answer in this lovely thread.

Which book will you recommend (on Devi)? – This thread started by Samurai Ravi Trivedi has lovely book recommendations on Devi. 

Which three books have changed your life? – This thread started by Ashutosh contains books that changed people’s lives. 

Resources to help with overthinking – This thread asked for book recommendations to help with overthinking, and the answers offered not just books but resources in all forms to help overcome overthinking. 

Concluding Words

As Hetal Sonpal was reviewing this round up, he said something that made me smile. The New Delhi railway station has a bookstall.

How nice!

When I go by train to New Delhi, I will certainly purchase a book from the bookstall. For old times sake. To do my miniscule part to support a railway station bookstall.

Image Credit: Sincerely Media from Unsplash