Are you a bookworm? If yes, we have found the perfect place for you.
“RARE BOOKS” reads a silver door on the busy street of RA Puram in Chennai, the silver door opens up to an 82-year-old Govindraju who owns the bookstore.
This bookstore is in the garage of a building, the rarest of the books -first editions, magazines and vintage advertisements dating back to 1930s.
This bookstore, unlike all others, has no expensive furniture, big bookshelves, air conditioners or alphabetically arranged books, in fact, Rare Books offers you distorted arranged books which results in beautiful chaos and a librarian who can tell you the story of and behind every book in his custody.
In the pile of books, only Govindraju knows which book is where and he believes that the pleasure of finding the book is often better than reading it. The musky fragrance of the old hardback and paperbacks serves as a meadow for book lovers.
Rare Books has close to 5000 books of every genre-literature, history, philosophy, culture, heritage, arts and 100 century old books. His passion for history makes him stay away from anything that is fiction, and he loves classics.
He is the proud owner of the entire Penguin Books collection including the first edition by Andre Maurois published in 1935. His collection includes first editions, personal diaries, hundreds of National Geographic magazines, every edition of Anand Vikatan and Ponniyin. He has several copies of ‘Harijan’ -the weekly newspaper that Gandhi started in 1933, journals such as Modern Review from 1919, copies of Illustrated weekly,1964 edition of Malayala Manorama and so much more. To add to the pride of his store Govinraju owns cartoon collections by RK Laxman, World War II political cartoonist David Low and British satirist Ronald Searle.
His entire cartoon collection was bought by the popular cartoonist Keshav.
What makes it more interesting is how Govindraju collects these books; he travels through the bus and gets off whenever he sees a kabadiwala, weird right. But it’s true he buys all the books that people sell to the kabadiwalas without knowing their worth and now the kabadiwalas are his best friends who supply him with the treasures people throw away.
The name of the bookstore totally lives up to its meaning.
So, if you also crave for these rare books, vintage advertisements and posters hurry up and knock the silver door of Rare Books at 45/50, Second Main Road,RA Puram,Chennai.