“The tactile experience of seeing books at bookstore cannot be replaced”

Shares Diviya Kapur of Literati Bookshop and Café, Goa in conversation with All About Book Publishing.

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Literati Bookshop and Café, Goa is the winner of Publishing Next Industry Award – Bookstore of The Year 2014. “We started Literati in Calangute Goa in 2005. It is a standalone store,” says Diviya Kapur of Literati.

Current status…

“There has been a decline in the quality of books being published and a surfeit of books being published. With online monopolistic platforms coming on the scene, the publishers and distributors are focussing on

them and it is very difficult for us to source books,” says Diviya. “But,

the appreciation and support we get from customers is what keeps us going.”

Genres sold…

“The popularity of genres vary, but literature, biographies and science are some of the popular genres just now,” she adds. “Regional language books are not popular here. We tried it for some time but then stopped stocking them.”

Impact of Covid-19…

“The beginning was difficult both in terms of getting books as well as in terms of sales as transport systems had been affected and people were not visiting the store,” she says.

On distribution…

“We work with distributors like IBD Pune, Prakash Mumbai, Rupa Mumbai, IIPDA Delhi, Variety Delhi, etc. The system worked much better when the so called exclusivity of publishers was not there. The exclusivity agreements also keep changing which causes further problems. The distribution system is a broken model just now and needs to be fixed,” says Diviya.

Competition from online sales…

“If there was a level playing field for physical and online stores, things would be much better for everyone in the long run,” she says. “But, the pleasure of walking into a physical bookstore and the tactile experience of seeing books cannot be replaced. The fun of interacting with book lovers and discovering curated collections is also a part of the charm of bookshops. If the publishers and distributors can get their act together, the future of retail will be bright,” concludes Diviya.

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