Tuesday, May 24, 2011

From where I source my books?

I have been an avid reader all my life. I still find it difficult to eat my lunch/dinner without any book in front of me. Bad habit I know. During my school days, I remember going through the same article of ‘Cricket Samrat’ umpteen number of time because of paucity of new magazines or books at home. I and my brother used to have a daily scuffle on who would read the newspaper first. Sharing its pages was a complete no no.

My taste of books has undergone sea of change if you compare it with those cricket samrat days but this post is not about my reading taste. It’s about where do I source my books from?

Beg, Borrow or Steal:
This was the mantra till I finished my engineering. Quite late I know. And the steal part is a bit exaggeration. As steal part didn’t materialize, I never really owned any books till I finished my college. Begged and borrowed ones had to be returned to the kings and the Queens who owned them.

Roadside vendors:
I discovered them during my stint in Bombay and boy more than me, my wallet loved them. Pirated books were every where. Next to VT station, Fort, Fashion Street, near CST, Bandra, Andheri. 3 books for 150 bucks! And when they came that cheap, I never really bothered about 4-5 missing pages after every 50 pages!

When you have means, you always tend to find ways to put an end to it (whatever it means). I started earning sometime in 2003 and suddenly I was seeing Crossroads, Landmarks and Odysseys all around me. I started spending a fortune there. Huge business they got from me! And then the online thing happened.

One of my friends pointed me to Indiaplaza where you could find anything and everything under the sun at great discounts. How true it was. He never told me though how pathetic they were in delivering those goods. As they say, always try to learn from other’s experience rather than making your own mistakes. (One good thing about me, I remember these quotes I just don’t implement them) I ordered my books from Indiaplaza and used to wait till eternity for delivery after numerous calls. I am sure my cell phone bills must have superseded the price of the book. Anyways, I repeated the process quite a few times before Flipkart happened.

Anyone with some business sense would have realized that the market for online book shopping was up for grabs. It took two guys from IIT-D to execute it to perfection. What a dream run it has been for the company since its inception three years ago.I must have ordered around 30 books from them till now and yet to see a delayed delivery. Their prompt delivery service is what sets them apart. Till the time they are here, I don’t see a reason to buy books from any other store or website. Their nearest competition? Apparently Indiaplaza (really?).



  1. Pleasantly surprised to see a post!
    I too bought quite a good number of books from roadside vendors..


  2. Suddenly remembered that i was following a blog by Gaurav Rathore years ago, and searched for ur blog name and here i am! So how have u been?
    Well, i too have gone through almost all those phases of sourcing books... yep, flipkart is really cool!

  3. I have been quite a reader myself and went through all this phases. :) (well, who hasn't ;))
    But strangely i switched from Flipkart to Indiaplaza. For two reasons, apparently. a) It gave better discounts. b) Contradictory to your experience, flipkart would deliver in 4-5 days but Indiaplaza in 3 days.

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