Book Guide: Where to Find Vernacular Literature in the City


    Delhi is a godsend when it comes to finding books in English. But when one wants to indulge in the newest, say, Kannada bestseller, we find ourselves at a loss. Even the ever helpful Jain Book Depot and Om fail to deliver. So, we found 8 awesome places {apart from libraries} where you can get your fix of your grandmother’s old tales, and regional fiction and non-fiction. Read on to find out more.

    Full Circle Book Store and Cafe

    Curating contemporary literature in Hindi, they stock some insightful books on religion and philosophy here. They also have a small but eclectic selection of Hindi fiction. Also do check out their amazing cafe.

    Languages Available: Hindi

    Where: Find their list of stores here.

    Contact: 011 24655641 / 42 / 43

    Find out more here. 

    Midland Bookstore

    Best place to get some hindi books at at least 20% off. They also have this really cute circular book stall in Janpath called the New Book Land. Unfortunately, they only stock fiction and allied genres in Hindi. But stay tuned for more.

    Languages Available: Hindi

    Where: 20, Aurobindo Place Market, Sri Aurobindo Marg, Block C 2, Hauz Khas; G-8, Basement South Extension; C 102, Shopping Mall, Arjun Marg, DLF Phase 1, Gurgaon; Janpath, Janpath Market, Connaught Place

    Contact: 011 2686 7121, 011 2465 3880

    Oxford Bookstore

    Oxford Bookstore

    Connaught Place, Delhi

    A bookshop biggie, Oxford stocks almost every other regional language book that you will ever want to get your hands on. The inner hall is literally top to toe stacked with Hindi, Bengali, Urdu and Punjabi titles. This is probably the only place in the city where you’ll also find vernacular non-fiction, biographies, and history related books. And Cha Bar is right next door too.

    Languages Available: Bengali, Urdu, Punjabi, Hindi

    Where: N-81, Connaught Place

    Nearest Metro Station: Rajiv Chowk

    Contact: 011-33503291, 33503292, 33503293

    Find out more here.

    Mehta Bandhu

    Mehta Bandhu

    Connaught Place, Delhi

    Currently being renovated, Mehta Bandhu stocks titles that will boggle your mind. They have an expansive foreign language collection, but they also have a full directory of Telegu, Malayalam and other South Indian fiction and non-fiction, apart from the well-known staples.

    Languages Available: Bengali, Punjabi, Malayalam, Telegu, Kannada, Urdu

    Where: 64, Janpath, Connaught Place

    Nearest Metro Station: Janpath

    Contact: 011 2331 6156

    Daryaganj Sunday Book Market

    Book Bazaar

    Daryaganj, Delhi

    If you look carefully, you will find almost anything that this country offers in terms of regional languages. The bonus is that they will all be heavily discounted. Second hand copies with written-in margins have a certain charm that doesn’t need any getting used to. If you’re lucky you might even find a first edition or two.

    Languages Available: All

    Where: Asaf Ali Marg and Netaji Subhash Marg, Daryaganj, Old Delhi {Landmark- Daryaganj Police Station/ Dilli Gate}

    Nearest Metro Station: Chandni Chowk

    When: Every Sunday, 10am till late evening

    Find out more here.

    Urdu Bazaar

    On the Southern gate of the Jama Masjid, there’s a narrow lane going towards Daryaganj. It is here that you will find the famed Urdu Bazaar, which to our amazement, has a huge collection of Urdu books {even from times long gone}. You will find historical books and collections like the Anjuman Tarakki Urdu and Jamia Maktab Urdu, as well as religious books like Koran, Sipare and Dua.

    Languages Available: Urdu

    Where: Urdu Bazar Rd, Jama Masjid, Chandni Chowk, New Delhi

    Nearest Metro Station: Chandni Chowk

    Ananda Bookstore

    Ananda Book Shop

    Chitranjan Park, Delhi

    The only bookstore in Delhi that keeps a purely Bengali selection of books, Ananda is a well-known publisher from Kolkata, who makes each and every title of theirs available to Bengali readers in the city. They have a 25% discount policy on buys above INR 4000, and INR 50 worth of merch on buys of INR 200. Look out for their fiction, thrillers, and spy collections, as well as their poetry omnibuses.

    Languages Available: Bengali

    Where: K-1 CR Park, Next to Kamla Sweets, Market-I

    Nearest Metro: Kalkaji

    Contact: 09818995485 {Ask for Krishnendu}

    Find out more here.

    Nayi Sadak

    This lane in Chandni Chowk, with a vast collection of old, new and second hand books, is the prime location for all your regional language needs. Starting from children’s books and folktales, to epics of yore, Nayi Sadak is the haven of Hindi and Urdu lit. Some stores here might even source some books that you are specifically looking for.

    Languages Available: Hindi, Urdu

    Where: Main Road, Nai Sarak, Old Delhi

    Nearest Metro Station: Chawri Bazar