A NEW LEASE OF LIFE
Ram Gopal Sharma & Sons in Shankar Market, a pre-Independence era lending library-cumbookshop is trying to keep the spirit of paperbacks alive in the world of digitisation.
Five years ago, the future of paperbacks looked bleak; experts warned us about the death of the print word. Now, in 2017, it appears as if lovers of hard copies can breathe a sigh of relief. Thankfully, not everybody is ready to part with their childhood classics, or forget the feel and smell of the pages. Ram Gopal Sharma and Sons is one such pre-independence era library that is overflowing with literary classics, glitzy magazines and old comics. Here, you can both buy and borrow books that have yellowed with time and age.
Who Runs it?
Originally founded by Ram Gopal Sharma, the library-cum-bookshop is now being run by his daughter-inlaw, Manjula Sharma, 63.
What They Do?
Apart from selling hard copies, this dainty store lets enthusiasts rent books for a minimal fee of Rs 40 for a week. They also supply newspapers and magazines to government organisations and private offices.
“Our sales have gone down due to digitisation. A lot of children today are not in the habit of reading and depend on kindles and tablets,” says Manjula.
To keep up, they collaborated with the website, BookMeABook about five years ago. “We’ve listed most of our books online and have about 100 dedicated members. We deliver books for free,” adds Manjula.
Mills & Boon continues to be the bestseller here. “Ladies in their 60s and 70s continue to order the 50s’
Mills & Boon collection. They find them clean and romantic.”
Manjula Sharma, owner, Ram Gopal Sharma & Sons
BOYS DIG Star Comics, Western Combat/War Comics