Saturday, 13 September 2014

Best bookstores in Lahore

Love for books and reading is pretty foreign amongst Pakistanis. In most cities, you can't even find a decent bookshop that sells books other than school textbooks. And the ones that do have a small collection of novels are mainly Urdu novels. Urdu novels are amazing but I still prefer reading English novels. So, after years of scouting and searching around, I managed to find some really nice bookshops in Lahore.

The first and foremost bookshop I would recommend is 'Readings' on 12 K, Main Boulevard, Gulberg 2. It is an amazing bookshop-slash-library where you can find books of all genre organized into many aisles. I have seen many local Lahoris come there not to buy, but to read books. So there is a comfortable environment around. It's a common sight to see students with their uniforms still on sitting on the floor with their noses buried in books. I'm guessing they come directly from school to do some reading which I personally think is really nice. I'm not a Lahori so I can't spend hours there reading.
But when I do go to Lahore, there is a trip fixed in my schedule to visit Readings. You can buy novels ranging from old books, low-price editions to new arrivals, high-price editions. For me, one trip to Readings costs me about 4000 - 5000 rps, and I buy around 10 books usually. But this is just a rough estimate. You can buy 10 books in 1000 rps or less too if you buy the old books. There's also a mini-cafe inside Readings where you can chill out with coffee and cake while you read.
Check them out online here.

Another bookshop in Lahore that I love to go to is 'Variety Books' in the Liberty Market. It's a multipurpose bookshop where you can find toys, DVDs, stationary etcetra. Hence, the name 'variety'. The first floor and above contain shelves full of novels. It's not a place for reading though so you can buy only. Just a warning - they are all high-price editions so you can't shop a lot there unless your pocket is full.
Check them out online here.

Galaxy books is another nice bookshop that is unknown to most people so it's usually a very quiet place. It is located in the Liberty Market, Gulberg 3, Opposite Al-Fatah. It's an old book shop so you won't find any new arrivals there. But you can buy a lot of books even on a small budget. They have a huge collection of books but they aren't organized in anyway so it is really hard to find something you're looking for. In that 'looking around' process though, you might stumble upon an unexpected book that would make it to your favourites. Liberty Books opened in the Mall of Lahore. The last time I went there was with my mother and my khala and all we did was some window shopping (which, by the way, the Mall of Lahore is famous for) so I did not get to explore Liberty books there. I have a sneaking suspicion, though, that it's a good book store because I have ordered a couple of books online from their website, so go and visit them as well.
Check them out online here.

That's it for all the good bookstores in Lahore. Maybe I have missed out on something but because I am not a Lahori, I haven't explored Lahore very thoroughly. But you can pretty much get everything you want from the ones I mentioned above. Also, on a side note, every year there is a Reading Expo held in the Expo Centre of Johar Town. I've been there three times and it has amazing books of all the bookstores there. So make sure you clear up your schedule and visit the expo next year. Dedicated readers must not miss it!

1 comment:

  1. Love this, and yes, you've covered all the major bookshops. Readings and Galaxy are love. I've ordered from Liberty Books, too. Ordering from Readings has 20% off so I prefer that to Liberty Books, though.