Daryaganj Sunday book market, Delhi

Every Sunday, hundreds of thousands of books (mostly second-hand and very dusty) are sold along the main street of Daryaganj and around the corner to Asaf Ali Road, Old Delhi. The nearest metro station is Chawri Bazaar, but it’s a bit of a walk, or a fairly short auto ride, through the bazaars of Old Delhi and past the Jama Masjid from there. I had read mixed reports–Fiona Caulfied thinks the idea is better than the reality, but Ajay Jain’s Delhi 101 recommended it, as did The Dilliwallah. So I took a look for myself. As I was starting out, an over-passing bird dropped one on my head (and I don’t mean a book), so I took that as a positive sign to keep going. While there are a large number of textbooks and magazines, there was some pretty good literary fiction, too. A lot of people were taking lists around and asking the sellers if they had copies of the books they wanted. While it was no Lifeline Book Fair, the books were cheaper and the surroundings a lot more interesting. I’m especially pleased with my Hindi copy of Maximum City–I’m a long way off being able to read it competently in Hindi, but I’ll add it to my shelf for motivation to keep studying!

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Elen

Travel writer at www.wildernessmetropolis.com. Editor, writer, traveller, reader, literary critic.

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