This Iconic, 65-Year-Old Library In Malleswaram Will Remind You Of The Good Old Days

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Gupta Circulating Library, on Malleswaram’s Sampige Road,  takes you back to simpler times.  Bibliophiles can scan the shop for classics from five different languages and experience the warm, personal service extended by its owner.

Back to the 60s

GRJ Gupta was only ten years old when he started Gupta Circulating Library along with his older brother who was all of 12. The library has always been on Malleswaram’s Sampige Road but it used to be way larger, Gupta recalls.  In the initial days, the library used to stock books in seven regional languages along with English. And Bangaloreans would come from near and far to source weekly reads from him.

The advent of the internet though has destroyed business, Gupta says.  The library now operates out of a one-room with ageing walls.  However, what hasn’t been compromised upon is the stellar service. As each patron walks in, Gupta remembers them by name and asks about their recent travels and their children while making detailed entries in his ledger. For those of you who miss the charming, personalised service every time you visited the library or a store, this cosy bookstore might just be the answer to your prayers. 

Turn A Page

The circulating library has a few hundred books from which members can pick from. The past sixty years has seen Gupta’s cater to over three generations of Bangaloreans, and the owner maintains that everyone from students to the older generation swing by to pick up from his collection. The shelves here are mostly lined with classics and bestsellers. PG Wodehouse, Ayn Rand, Chetan Bhagat and Dan Brown all make their presence felt. You can also choose from a stock of age-old and brand new indie magazines from here.

Memberships to the library begin at a mere INR 200 and go up to 400 depending on the number of books you’d like to borrow in a month.  Or you could pay for each individually on a daily subscription basis. You are charged 10 per cent of the book’s value in this case.


Navya considers herself to be the Cassandra of the 21st century – no one ever listens to the wisdom that she so willingly imparts. This is the only Greek tragedy element in her otherwise happy life. She’s got her Husband Charming, has perfected the art of sarcasm, is always fed copious amounts of good food, and is well on her way to self-actualization.