When Cyclone Amphan hit the city in the month of May 2020, the major loss witnessed by Kolkata was its books being destroyed. For a city that is soaked in languages and dialects, it is certainly no surprise that the bookstores in Kolkata are a vital aspect that lends to its charm. Everyone in the city of Kolkata is a reader, whether they admit it or not. To give the reader a chance to explore the rich culture of the city, there are volumes written. Here are the most famous bookstores in Kolkata that you just cannot give a miss.
1. Chakraborty and Chatterjee, College Street: one of the oldest bookstores in Kolkata
A bookstore that is one of the oldest in the city, Chakraborty and Chatterjee is your escape into worlds outside of the city. With poems, manuscripts and fiction work in Indian and foreign languages, an avid book reader is spoilt for choice.
Owing to its reputation as one of the oldest bookstores in Kolkata, this quaint spot holds more secrets to the city's culture than any other place in India.
Where: 15, College St, College Square West, Newland, Calcutta University, College Square, Kolkata, West Bengal 700073
2. Oxford Bookstore, Taltala: one of the classiest bookstores in Kolkata
Why settle for reading books about your culture, when you can go explore everything the world has in store for you? That is just what the Oxford Bookstore Kolkata had in mind when they devised a system wherein readers are exposed to International literature and authors too. A booklover is put at ease here at the Oxford Bookstore Kolkata as they can catch up on their favourite read.
A noteworthy mention is that along with the sprawling stacks and racks of books, the Oxford Bookstore Kolkata regularly hosts reading sessions, book releases etc and you can catch them too.
Where: 17, Park St, Taltala, Kolkata, West Bengal 700016
3. Starmark, Jadavpur: a fabulous set of bookstores in Kolkata
The perfect spot for a weekend getaway! Starmark is a chain of bookstores in Kolkata that are spread across the city. What we absolutely adore about this bookstore is that it does not only cater to book lovers but even to those who just want to chill for an evening.
This book store has an area for fun and games where kids (or even you) could do a puzzle, mess around, while your book lover friends could binge on some fiction works.
Where: Starmark, 375, Prince Anwar Shah Rd, South City Complex, Jadavpur, Kolkata, West Bengal 700068
4. Ananda Publishers, College Street: one of the busiest bookstores in Kolkata
The state of West Bengal has often been acclaimed for how well it has preserved literature regarding its cultural heritage. This bookstore on College Street certainly deserves a mention for the role it has played in this. On the racks, one will find Bengali literature and famous works by some great personalities of yore.
It is praiseworthy just how well these works have been preserved to date! The book lover in you will find your paradise here.
Where: Ananda Publishers Pvt Ltd, 45, Beniatola Ln, College Row, College Street, Kolkata, West Bengal 700009
5. National Book Store, College Square: one of the quaintest bookstores in Kolkata
Opposite the Presidency University is the National Book Store that is a world in itself. This store has got everything you may need when it comes to literature and what really sets it off is the charming ambience of a quaint bookshop.
Where: 15, College St, Opposite National Book Store, College Square West, College Square, Kolkata, West Bengal 700073
6. Techno World, College Street
Moving on from the Oxford Book Store to something that is curated for the studious ones. Probably a college student's favourite booksellers! Techno World has a collection of everything that a student may need during their years of study. You may even find some second-hand books if you do not want to brand new ones. Check these out!
Where: YMCA Building, 90/6A, Mahatma Gandhi Rd, Opp. Grace Cinema, Calcutta University, College Street, Kolkata
7. Dey's Publishing, College Square
Bengali literature is one of the richest works that India has ever witnessed. These booksellers are like a treasure trove of Bengali literature and they have among their racks some very rare books that are not found anywhere in India.
With the works of Bengali authors, like Sunil Gangopadhyay and Shirshendu Mukhopadhya, entering here is like every book lovers dream.
Where: 13, Bankim Chatterjee St, Sealdah, College Square, Kolkata, West Bengal 700073
8. College Street, Bowbazar
The magic of the city lies here! Whether it is children's books, second-hand books, journals, magazines, storybooks, or anything that has words, you can find it while walking down these streets. Grab a cup of tea and settle down as you choose! College Street was destroyed during the Cyclone Amphan but it has worked to gets its way back! It has some of the best bookstores in Kolkata.
Where: College Street Book Market, Bowbazar, Kolkata, West Bengal 700007
9. Seagull Books, Kalighat
This publishing house in Downtown Kolkata is a vibe in itself. With books from every sphere of life, your afternoon is sorted if you're planning on spending it here. A heads-up - they even have some Nobel winning literature should you wish to give it a try!
Where: 36c, Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Rd, • Patuapara, Jatin Das Park, Bakul Bagan, Kalighat, Kolkata
10. Earthcare Books, Maidan
Are you big into protecting the environment, making a difference and working towards a cause? You can use some help. These booksellers house a collection of books that are devoted to the cause of the environment, social issues, sustainability and so much more!
You will also have a chance to interact with people who think on the same lines through various sessions that these booksellers organise.
Where: Earthcare Books, Metro Stn, 10, Middleton St, Near Maidan, Kolkata, West Bengal 700071
11. Crossword Bookstore
Well! What can we say about Crossword! It was surely a part of everyone's childhood. Just sitting amidst those towering shelves stacked with books, going into fantasy lands through the pages of a book, and living so many different lives. Experience the magic once again at Crossword.
Where: Crossword, 320 A, Block A,- 3rd floor, 3rd Ave, DC Block, Sector 1, Bidhannagar, Kolkata, West Bengal 700064
12. Dasgupta & Co
In existence since the 19th century, this bookstore in Kolkata boasts of an amazing collection of reads that you will not be able to take your eyes off. With literature from all acclaimed publishers as well as manuscripts etc., this bookstore is a must-visit in the city!
It also houses many first-edition prints and if you are one of those book lovers who has a prized possession of books on your shelf, this is just the right place to get them from. With editions in English and other regional languages, you will be spoilt for choice!
Where: 54/3, College Street, Kolkata
13. Sri Aurobindo Pathamandir
A haunt for people who are looking for religious literature! This book space has works on cultural philosophy, religious guides, spiritual principles, and so much more. It is a great place to explore the spiritual realm and also attend sessions by various great men.
If you are in the city, it would be great to stop by at this spot and get your daily dose of philosophy. There is something magical about attending one of these sessions of the morning and having your chai afterwards. Don’t forget to get your copy of something to put your life into perspective!
Where: 15, Bankim Chatterjee St, College Square, Kolkata, West Bengal 700073
13. Bani Library
With an offline as well as an online collection to showoff, Bani Library is the pride of College Street. This bookstore will satiate your booklover cravings with its plethora of reads that just never seem to end.
Whether it is fiction, non-fiction, journals, manuscripts, storybooks, fantasy fairytales or more, you will find what you’re looking for perched on a shelf or maybe in a digital library. As e-books are becoming a popular fad among the youth of today, we think Bani Library has some really good deals to keep you engaged.
Where: 54/7, College Street, near to College Street, &, Mahatma Gandhi Rd, crossing, Kolkata, West Bengal 700073
A book can take you places. Where do you wish to go next?