Indian Bookstores and Literary Cafes

Step into a world where the aroma of coffee and inked pages intertwine, where bookshelves hold treasures from across the ages, and where literary conversations fill the air. Welcome to the enchanting realm of Indian bookstores and literary cafes, where stories come alive, the community thrives, and the love for literature finds its sanctuary. In these havens of literary delight, books are more than objects—they are gateways to new worlds, solace for the soul, and catalysts for friendships. Join us on a journey through the labyrinthine alleys of beloved bookshops and the cozy corners of literary cafes, where the magic of words and the warmth of community converge.

Embrace the thrill of literary discovery and immerse yourself in the wonders that await. In this article, we unveil the tales of Indian bookstores and literary cafes, where literature reigns supreme, imagination soars, and connections are forged. Prepare to be captivated as we explore the captivating landscapes of these literary havens, where every page holds the promise of adventure and every cup of coffee sparks conversations that ignite the mind.


  • Characteristics of Indian Bookstores : Bookstores in India are vibrant havens that cater to the diverse reading interests of book enthusiasts. These establishments offer much more than just a collection of books. In summary, Indian bookstores are not just places to buy books; they are vibrant cultural spaces that celebrate literature, nurture reading communities, and promote intellectual engagement. With their wide range of books, knowledgeable staff, literary events, cozy reading spaces, and support for local talent, these bookstores serve as indispensable hubs for book lovers in India.

Here are some notable features of Indian bookstores:

  • Wide range of books available.
  • Availability of regional and vernacular literature.
  • Knowledgeable staff.
  • Literary events and author engagements.
  • Specialized collections and sections.
  • A platform to support independent publishers and authors.

Famous Indian Bookstores

Here is a list of famous Indian bookstores throughout the country that one must visit to take a dive into the world of fictions and legendary tales:

  • Cambridge Book Depot, Mussoorie : The most well-known landmark in lovely Mussoorie is a small, family-run bookstore on Mall Road. The Cambridge Book Depot, once frequented by several well-known authors who established shops in the hill town throughout the years, is now best known for being a favorite hangout for local resident Ruskin Bond. According to reports, the author frequents the bookstore on a weekly basis, drawing throngs of admirers every time.
  • Timings: 9:30am to 7:30pm (Monday to Saturday)

  • Higginbothams Bookstore, Chennai : Higginbothams on Chennai's Anna Salai Road, which was established in 1844, is regarded as the oldest still-operating bookshop in the nation. Over the course of its nearly 200-year history, the bookstore has accumulated an impressive collection of books, including many first and rare editions, historical maps, and long-out-of-print titles.
  • Timings: 9am to 9pm (Monday to Sunday)

  • Bahrisons, Delhi : No bookworm in the city should skip Bahrisons in the constantly busy Khan Market, one of the numerous classic bookshops in the capital. Bahrisons has evolved from a little books and stationery shop established in 1953 to one of the city's most comprehensive libraries. The friendly staff there is another reason to attend; they will go above and beyond to get you your next book.
  • Timings: 10am to 8pm (Monday to Sunday)

  • Pagdandi Chai Café, Pune : Pagdandi Chai Cafe in Pune, however, has an excellent assortment compared to most cafes that also function as bookstores. You are welcome to peruse their collection of books from independent publishers; you can also rent books and contribute copies. The walls are decorated with artwork from rising photographers and artists. The combination of boardgames and books on the same shelves makes for a cheerful environment.
  • Timings: 8am to 10pm (Monday to Sunday)

  • Rachna Bookhouse, Gangtok : Rachna's extensive and well curated inventory quickly distinguished it as one of the best bookshops in the area, but this family-run business also quickly established a reputation as a centre for alternative culture. Independent performers, authors, and artists from across the nation, notably those from the Himalayan region, are frequently hosted by the bookstore.
  • Timings: 10am to 8:30pm (Monday to Saturday)

  • Earthcare Books, Kolkata : Earthcare Books must be among the top independent bookstores in India because of its assortment of uncommon, hard-to-find books. Whitewashed walls, bamboo and rattan furniture, and red oxide floors all contribute to the pleasant atmosphere. Themed bookshelves with arched entryways are in distinct rooms. Each area has specific literature on a variety of topics, including history, philosophy, women, and gender, adivasi concerns, ecology, architecture, nature, tree species in cities, snakes, reptiles, and other wildlife, health, and a host of other topics.
  • Timings: 10am to 6pm (Monday to Saturday)

  • The Bookshop, Delhi : Many Dilliwallas have been loyal customers of The Bookshop ever since it initially opened its doors in 1970. The Bookshop is a terrific place to look for books on literary fiction, biographies, current affairs, crime and mystery, graphic novels, and cuisines. Notable authors like William Dalrymple, Khushwant Singh, and Arundhati Roy frequent it, and they even have a special section particularly for youngsters. They'll also try their best to get a book from the publishers if you can't discover one that you absolutely must have.
  • Timings: 10:30am to 8pm (Monday to Sunday)


  • Concept of Literary Cafes and Features of It : Literary cafes are unique establishments that bring together the worlds of literature and culinary delights. These spaces are designed to provide a welcoming and inspiring environment for book lovers, writers, and artists to gather, engage in intellectual conversations, and immerse themselves in the literary world. Here are the key concept and features of a literary café:
  • Bookish Ambiance : Literary cafes have a soothing bookish ambiance which is characterized by overflowing bookshelves with diverse books, creating an inviting atmosphere and cozy and comfortable reading corners with aesthetic décor.
  • Fusion of Books and Culinary Delight : One of the main features of literary cafes is that they have in-house cafes which serve delectable coffee and snacks items, which when combined with the aroma of books, create a sensory delight for the readers.
  • Intellectual Conversations and Events : The literary cafes host book readings, author signings, poetry slams, book club meetings, and other literary-themed events for readers to engage in thought-provoking conversations.
  • Cozy and Welcoming Environment : When you step into a literary cafe, you'll find a cozy and welcoming environment. Comfortable seating options, ambient lighting, and a relaxed atmosphere create a space where visitors can feel at ease.
  • Creative Space for Inspiration : Literary cafes offer creative spaces that inspire artistic endeavors. Writing nooks, quiet corners, and designated areas for creative activities encourage writers, poets, and artists to seek inspiration, hone their craft, and find solace in a nurturing environment.
Famous Indian Literary Cafes

Every literary café in India has some unique features but one thing that remains the same is the love for the written words by the bibliophile or authors who visit them. Some of the most famous literary cafes for the book worms in India are as follows:

  • Literati Bookshop and Café, Calangute, Goa : As soon as you enter this bookstore and café in Goa's well-known beach town Calangute, a joyful embrace will greet you. It invites you to peruse the book racks filled with domestic and foreign writers' fiction and non-fiction works since it is light, airy, and pleasant. They have an interesting department with ancient editions and antique books. The store also hosts literary events, film screenings, and a book club. The outdoor café's menu is small and largely consists of sandwiches, drinks, and sweets. The specials for the day are listed on a blackboard.
  • Timings: 9am to 9pm (Monday to Sunday)

  • The Bibliophilia Café, Guwahati : When Imran Hussain's well-known Panbazar bookstore reopened in January 2019, book lovers exhaled a sigh of relief. It adopted the motto "profit for purpose" and added a café to assist in running the store and pay for the purchase of new books to stay in business. The walls of this room are decorated with posters and book covers, as well as framed images of illustrious authors and other notable persons. The tall book racks give the room a classic appeal. There are plenty of tables and seats to curl up with your favorite book. And don't forget to place an order at the budget-friendly café since you are confident that the money will be used wisely.
  • Timings: 11am to 10pm (Monday to Sunday)

  • Full Circle Bookshop and Café Turtle, New Delhi : If you are travelling through Khan Market in Delhi, even if books are not on your mind, don't miss the opportunity to enter the Full Circle Book Shop. It is enjoyable to peruse the store's diverse selections. Both fiction and non-fiction books, especially the most recent releases, are readily available in the bookstore. Ask the staff for assistance if you need help finding a certain book. With portions broken down by age ranges, the children's section is also well-kept. On the floor above the bookstore, there is a calm and welcoming cafe called Cafe Turtle. You'll be spoiled for choice with the menu (vegetarian exclusively), which offers hot and cold drinks, low-calorie salads, small snacks, soups and starters, pizzas and pastas, sandwiches, desserts, and more.
  • Timings: 10am to 8pm (Monday to Sunday)

  • Champaca Books, Bengaluru : Magnolia champaca is the inspiration behind the name of this beautiful library, small bookshop, and café. It was established by a skilled ecological and conservationist, is located on the bungalow rooftop, and has a metal stairway leading up to a room with lots of windows letting in natural light. Weekly free and public events are held at the children's library, which is accessible both online and offline. It has various travel themed selection such as ‘’Can we time travel together across history and places?’’, ‘’What expeditions have brave women taken?’’, ‘’How do mental journeys feel like?’’, etc. That sounds intriguing right? The café offers fresh salads, sandwiches, pastas, and beverages too.
  • Timings: 10:30am to 7pm (Tuesday to Sunday)

  • Kitab Khana, Mumbai : This unique bookstore is set in a more than 150-year-old historic building in the centre of south Mumbai, close to the famous Kala Ghoda premises. The bookstore carries books in a variety of genres, including classics and the newest bestsellers, as well as regional language editions like Hindi, Gujarati, and Marathi. The goal of the business, which is owned by Amrita and Samir Somaiya, is to create a setting that would promote reading books in these days of technological trappings. The bookstore frequently hosts author meet-ups, book readings, and other literary events. A wide variety of vegetarian options are offered in the adjoining café.
  • Timings: 11am to 9pm (Monday to Sunday)

  • Oxford Bookstore, Kolkata : Located within the premises of Oxford Bookstore in Park Street, Kolkata, the Oxford Bookstore Cha Bar is a unique literary cafe that combines the love for books with a delightful tea experience. It offers a vast selection of teas from around the world, complemented by a range of delectable snacks, creating the perfect setting for bookworms to immerse themselves in literature. The cozy ambiance, with shelves adorned with books and literary quotes, makes it a popular destination for book lovers seeking a peaceful retreat amidst the bustling city.
  • Timings: 10:30am to 9pm (Monday to Sunday)

  • Atta Galatta, Bangalore : Atta Galatta, situated in the lively Koramangala neighborhood of Bangalore, is one of India's most welcoming bookstores, providing a reader-friendly environment. Alongside its extensive book collection, Atta Galatta offers a comfortable in-store café and ample plush seating. Visitors are invited to browse leisurely through the shelves or relax with their chosen books while savoring a cup of coffee. This cozy bookstore stands out for its warm hospitality, making it a must-visit destination for book lovers in Bangalore.
  • Timings: 11am to 8pm (Monday to Sunday)

Sum up

Indian bookstores and literary cafes offer a delightful haven for book lovers, providing a blend of literary treasures, cultural experiences, and culinary delights. These spaces celebrate the written word, offering a wide range of books, knowledgeable staff, and cozy reading areas that invite readers to embark on literary journeys. Whether you seek a quiet corner to immerse yourself in a book or wish to connect with like-minded individuals, Indian bookstores and literary cafes offer an enriching experience for all who appreciate the magic of literature.

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