The Scoop

What is over 70 years old, is one of Bangalore’s best kept secrets right on Brigade Road and is frequented by likes of Ruskin Bond and Ramachandra Guha? Stumped? Don’t blame you if you are! It’s the top secret Select Bookstore. What’s special about this place? Well, if all the exciting stuff above wasn’t enough, sample this. You can score here hardcopies of Walter Scott tomes printed in 1900 for under INR 500. Rare books on topics as varied as anthropology and steam locomotives {don’t be surprised to run into a copy of 50 Shades…, either}.

The Style

Imagine an old Bangalore house with two floors overflowing with books old and new. Now imagine two men in charge: on the ground floor — the son & third generation bookseller; and on the first floor — the 70-something, KKS Murthy. He chose to chuck his lucrative aeronautical engineering job at Lockheed, in the US, to follow his heart some 40 years ago, thus proving that “following your bliss” is not the mantra of the millennials. This place smells like only a bookstore with real books can smell like — of books of course, and is a bibliophile’s dream come true!

What We Love

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That you can score a beautiful dust-jacketed Arthur Conan Doyle printed in the 1920s. That you can chance upon a first edition Tagore, which you can purchase at less than what a meal for two at any of the pricey restaurants down Church Street will cost you. That you can pounce on that rare second edition Lord of the Rings series of books at INR 2,000 each. You are likely to experience serendipity of some crazy magnitude, as a book on philosophy sits cheek by jowl with a racy British whodunnit. The possibilities here are as endless as falling in love.

The only problem is the name of the bookshop – Select. You will end up not being able to “Select”, and walk away with half the shop, mumbling “Preciousss” to yourself. Wait! Not done yet. Looking for something unusual? Ask Mr. Murthy. He will write it down in his diary. It may take a week or a year for him to call you, but call he will, after having successfully found the volume that your little heart desired.    

Who Is It For

The type who looks for ‘soul’ in their bookstore. Bangalore is abundant with such options, three of whom vie for attention on Church Street alone. This quiet little bookshop is big on brains, heart and charm!   

Where: # 71, Brigade Road Cross
Ph. 25580770

Timings:

All days: 10.30am – 7:00 pm

Photos: Abheet Anand/LBB