Variety Book Depot marks its presence in Daryaganj
“There is scope for more bookshops in the country,” tells Om Arora of Variety Book Depot, in conversation with ABP editors SK Khurana and Varsha Verma, on the eve of opening their new showroom on main Ansari Road in Daryaganj (New Delhi), the great hub of publishing industry in India. We want to make it a happening place and offer discounts or freebies to our customers, told Om Arora of Variety Book Depot, who has recently opened a swanky new showroom in Daryaganj, New Delhi. Spread over an area of 5,000 sq ft, with more than 11,000 titles on display, the showroom is indeed a book paradise. This is the second showroom of the company, the first being in Connaught Place (CP), New Delhi. This 2,800 sq ft facility in CP also houses all the titles the company represents. The display of books at Daryaganj facility is well organised as books are displayed as per the genre like children, self-help, fiction, general, cookery, coffee table books, interiors, fashion, etc. “Besides, for some publishers like Taschen we have a separate display area. We have 300 different titles from Taschen, which are exclusively displayed in an area of 180 sq ft,” told Om.
“We stock books of almost all publishers in the trade books. We are exclusive distributors for various publishers like Archie Comics, Mills & Boon, etc. We get all kinds of customers, the majority being bookshop owners from all parts of the country. In fact, we provide service to publishers as well as booksellers,” he said, adding, “On an average, we have a target to get around 50 booksellers to visit our new showroom in a day. Our prices shall remain same for both retail as well as wholesale customers.”
The staff at the new showroom is young and well versed with the books on display. They can even help the visitors in recommending books suiting their interest. “As a newer initiative, the showroom will bring in one publisher every month to promote their books, wherein it will get an exclusive space in our showroom for a month. Currently we are promoting HarperCollins titles and next month, we will give special display to Parragon Publishing,” told Om.
On asking about Indian vs foreign publishers in trade books, Om replied that 75 percent of market share is with the foreign publishers as they invest and plan very systematically. He feels that it is a good sign that multinational publishers are opening up their offices in India which is giving a boost to the industry. Though, Indian publishers like Rupa & Co are also making a mark for itself.
“There is a scope for growth in the industry but I am
disappointed that children are not encouraged to read. This is
not a healthy trend and parents should take the responsibility
to inculcate reading habits in their children,” conveys Om
Arora of Variety Book Depot.
Talking on the trends of new generation Indian authors in trade books, Om shared that since half of the Indian population is below 45 years, these authors connect to this segment of readers instantly as they use the same language they talk in day-today life. “Nevertheless, it is a good trend and every book has something to give and there remains some literary value in every book,” he said.
In a time when so many bookshops are shutting down, it is indeed a welcome change to see such bookshops of repute opening newer showrooms. Talking about this trend, Om shared that since the prices of real estate has shot up and younger generation not wanting to continue with the book trade, an alternate activity can get them a better return out of their real estate. Commenting upon the ‘online’ book sales affecting bookshops operations, Om adds that online bookshops cannot be solely blamed for the same because these have been getting affected only in metro cities.
“In fact, bookshops space has increased in the last 20 years with chains of bookstores like Crossword, Landmark, etc opening newer outlets. I feel for sure there is still a scope for more bookshops in our country,” he stressed.
So, are there more Variety Book Depot’s showrooms on the cards? “No, we would like to concentrate on these two outlets. We have distributors in every city and so we do not need separate showrooms. Delhi is the hub for all publishing activities and our presence here is enough,” came a quick concluding reply from Om.