If books are a reader’s delight, imagine the boundless joy that books about books would bring. Indian literature too has some fine gems for readers to find, empathize, discover and fall in love with other readers and writers. Take a look at this very book-ish list of books about books.
The Book Hunters of Katpadi tells the story of Neela, who runs an antiquarian bookshop along with her assistant Kayal in Chennai. Together, they search for books that are worth collecting and are valuable for their selective clientele.
Added to this is a mystery related to books and manuscripts that makes this book India’s first bibliomystery. The book goes into the depth of the art of binding books, book collecting and running a specialised bookstore which makes it a delight for any reader who wants to know about these aspects of the book world.
Paper Moon is a delightful, light hearted book that tells the story of Fiza. When her estranged father suddenly dies and leaves her a fortune so that she can open a bookstore (is that not just a dream job!) in Mumbai, her life changes.
Fresh out of college, she throws herself into making her bookstore – Paper Moon – a success and the novel gives us a heady dose of romance, books and Mumbai in its pages.
Jaipur Journals is a novel that draws inspiration from the most popular literary festival in India – the Jaipur Literary Festival (the JLF).
Gokhale, who has been associated with JLF from the beginning, has written this novel as a “love letter to the greatest literary show on earth” and her characters (that range from writers to readers) are an amalgamation of truth and fiction.
Amongst characters from her imagination, we also see some well known names like Shashi Tharoor and Javed Akhtar who make an appearance in the book. If you have ever been to the festival or wanted to attend it, you might enjoy this.
Bestseller is a novel that takes the readers into the publishing world through its protagonist Akshay Saxena.
Akshay is forced to join a small time publication when he is out of work in the UK and has to move to India. But his problem is that his new editor wants five bestsellers in the coming year and Akshay needs to make that happen. What follows this is a funny and, at times, satirical story of what goes on in the publishing world.
The Librarian is the story of Vidya Patel, who has been an avid reader since childhood. She loves books and her life changes when she discovers the Macmillan, a heritage library in Mumbai.
She befriends the librarian and joins the library as a Junior Librarian after she finishes college. But will her attempts to keep the library going bear fruit? This novel is one of the very few Indian novels that centre around a library and its readers and deserves to be read.
Sridhar Balan has a long and illustrious career in the publishing industry and he gives the readers the finest accounts and stories related to books and bookish people in Off the Shelf.
The book is full of delightful anecdotes about people who have been associated with books and publishing in some way or the other. There are, for example, the stories of the first English writer in India, or the man who set up the Oxford University Press or the story of Jim Corbett’s book launch. Thrown in are also some of his personal encounters and stories that make this book a delight to readers across the genres.
Getting published can be a daunting task for a new author. How to Get Published in India is a book that gives you advice on this, and related, topics. Besides, it also has a collection of essays from writers like Jeffrey Archer, Shobhaa De, Meena Kandasamy and others that will make anyone interested in either getting their work published or knowing how the industry works in India.