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A quaint little bookstore

The Corner Bookstore looks like a home library — just a room where one can sit surrounded by paperbacks and hardbacks



Dancer Chandralekha inaugurating the bookstore

AS MALLS, flyovers, and sprawling buildings spring up all around us, and large announcements like "Chennai's largest store", and "Your one-stop shop" begin to be thrown about freely, anything small and exclusive is a wonderful luxury.

Browsing around in a huge store might be good timepass, but why be forced to walk through bays of greeting cards and crystal vases when all you want is the latest bestseller?

Understanding our longing for cosy corners, the Corner Bookstore has peppered five of its outlets around the city, the latest having just opened up in Chhotabhai Centre (near the Frankies cart), Nungambakkam High Road. These are a part of their objective of setting up a nationwide chain of small-format bookstores that would be smaller and more accessible to readers. However, limited space doesn't mean limited options in these stores, because their collection is as extensive as any large-format store.

No worry of dead stock

The Corner Bookstore, in fact, gets the better deal— they don't have to worry about dead stock (books that have been sitting on the shelves for ages without buyers).

The store supports many alternative publishers like Kali for Women, Sahitya Kala Academy, etc., stocking off-beat books that larger stores would not consider with a barge pole. Renowned dancer and choreographer, Chandralekha, inaugurated the Chhotabhai Centre store, and was thrilled to find rare volumes of Rabindranath Tagore's works on the shelves.

The bookstore looks like a little home library — just a room where one can sit surrounded by paperbacks and hardbacks, happily away from bustling crowds and billing queues. They stock more than 3,000 titles and even focus on Tamil and Hindi books. They have even launched a publishing label a few months ago, which encourages debutant authors.

Aditi, brand manager for the bookstore, says that once budding writers dropped in a synopsis of their book at any of the Corner Bookstores, it was only a matter of time before the approved ones are published. Two books by first-time writers have already hit the markets.

ROHINI MOHAN

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