Bookshop in Pune celebrates 60 years

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When bookshops around the world are facing threat from online bookstores, it is heartening to mention that Popular Book Store in Pune is celebrating its 60th anniversary. Here’s more on this bookshop.
Established in 1954 by Madhav Gadgil, in a small shop on Deccan Gymkhana, next to Poona Coffee House, Popular Book House has come a long way. “Since the beginning, our aim is to provide latest books on various subjects to booklovers,” tells Sunil M Gadgil of Popular Book House.

But, the bookshop has faced its share of shortcomings as well. This small bookshop was completely washed away in the 1961 floods, which caused havoc in the city. “However, it proved a blessing in disguise for us. Madhav managed to gather the leftovers and mainly a lot of courage to start over again – that too in a bigger place, where we are functioning today. Since then, there has been no looking back though a lot of changes have taken place since then,” adds Sunil.

Talking about the transition, Sunil shares that since 1980’s considerable changes took place. “Subjects like Politics, Anthropology, Sociology, were replaced by subjects like Computer Science, IT, Management, Cookery, Children Books, etc,” he adds. While, 1990’s saw the coming of Multimedia CD Rom’s, Books on audio CD’s, etc. “We have changed accordingly. We stock latest books, CD Rom’s, and stationery. We also accept subscription to select English magazines. We also are the largest supplier of books to various institutions, colleges, universities, and industries,” he tells.

Remarkably, the bookshop has enjoyed a large loyal clientele for all these years. “Now we have members of the third and fourth generation visiting us,” he adds proudly. And, he attributes their success to their ability to adapt to changes – they were the first to start an air-conditioned book shop, then came the computerization. They also have a separate section for books in Hindi. They claim to be the first bookshop to start mailing system for keeping their clients informed about the new arrivals. Last but not the least, they have also launched an online bookshop to tap the growing online customers.

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