Books & Stationery

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Enjoy The Company Of Old Books At The Best Second Hand Bookstores In Chennai

It is unlikely that there is anything that brings more joy to a bibliophile than the crumbling, yellowing pages and the unmistakable scent of a book already held, read and cherished. Discover these treasures that have surpassed boundaries and withstood the test of time with this list of the best second-hand bookstores in Chennai.

Moore Market, located a short distance away from the bustle and noise of the iconic Central Station, has long been a destination for buyers of used books. In its many shops lie scores of books spanning genres like fiction, non-fiction, science, geography, literature, and economics. Copies of classics and contemporary bestsellers by western and Indian writers line the shelves, but it is Moore Market’s collection of academic reference books — old, new and rare — that is its main draw. The sellers are efficient and know their stock, and even help source a book especially for you. Prices aren’t fixed, so everyone bargains.

An unassuming garage in RA Puram houses a gold mine of the printed word. Nestled in an old, quiet apartment block, Rare Books, is a musty room, with its cold stone floor, numerous bursting boxes and overstuffed bookshelves that have first editions (including the very first editions of the Penguin series), books long out of print, Tamil literature, front pages of newspapers from the 1930s, National Geographic, Modern Review and Illustrated Weekly magazines from the early half of the century, and a well-preserved set of illustrations by political cartoonists like RK Laxman. 

Another such bookstore, which was, incidentally, born using the foundation of a large collection of Rare Books’ books and later expanded, is the W+H Book Search in Anna Nagar. Amidst vintage-style telephone apparatuses and old-worldly clocks, one finds books about Madras and a large collection of maps. Those curious to know of the history of the city would be particularly intrigued and amused by cartographic records from the early 50s depicting a city that has changed dramatically since.

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