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Rare Books & Even Rarer Conversations At Jain News Stand In CP

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Would you want a first edition of Das Kapital? How about a second edition of The Wasteland? How about the first collection of Coetzee’s essays ever published? How about each for less than INR 500? Where, you ask? At Jain News Stand in CP.

To Read, Or Not To Read

Meet Anil Jain. For 1.5 years, he worked at a ceramic tiles factory, before he realised he wanted to run his own business, and with INR 850 in his pocket, he started sourcing and selling books. He’s been a constant right outside of Block A since 1988. He fell into a love for books, soon after he started selling them; went for English classes for years, and became a treasure trove of knowledge for buyers, and passers-by, alike.

For The Love Of Books

You’ll find everything from  the latest Murakami, and Rushdie, to the most archaic books, that may have been lost to the tides of time. What makes this roadside store a landmark, is the love and care with which the books are sourced. Mr Jain goes to the wholesalers who sell books by weight, and scours through tons of piles endlessly till he finds books he knows the people selling them don’t realise the value of, and brings them to be part of his temporary collection, for the right person to recognise and take along.

The Curious Case Of Reader's Syndrome

He has one pile of books for INR 100, another for INR 150, and the new editions of recently published books can be purchased at as much as half the original price. But more than anything else, if you’re picking up a book from him, talk to him about what you like reading, and he’ll suggest books you may not have even heard of yet, but now will not be able to do without.

Anything Else?

I bought many first and subsequent editions of rare books for next to nothing, but what stayed with me, and keeps me going back, is Mr. Jain himself, his love for reading, his wonderful collection, and most importantly his love for deciphering what I may need in my life at that moment, but don’t even know it yet.



Rare books come and go, so it’s really about luck. Jain News Stand can be found in the next lane, as you walk away from Block A {Starbucks and Fabindia will be on your right}.