Everybody needs a good read to keep them going, and although the online world offers you a bevy of books at your fingertips, there is nothing as cathartic as walking into a great bookstore and basking in a sanctuary of bound stories. That’s why Homegrown curated a list of Mumbai’s top bookstores, each offering voracious readers a plethora of paperbacks to satiate their inner bibliophile.
Our list is not based on the biggest bookstores around the city, but rather the purveyors of good literature. If we were to lean on a cliche it’d read, “Quality over quantity.” So explore these refuges for the Mumbai reader and lounge on bookstore banisters as you peruse the ever-living lines of Hemingway and Hawthorne.
I. Prithvi Theatre
Where: 20 Janki Kutir Juhu Church Road, Mumbai
Just a few meters from the beach, in a small kiosk in front of the theatre and the delicious, budget friendly and beautiful café, lies a quaint little bookshop. The collection mostly consists of novels and plays from international authors. What is especially unique is their space dedicated to children’s books - giving you enough to browse through while waiting for your show to start. We recommend this bookstore as a part of the entire experience that is Prithvi Theatre.
Opening hours : Everyday from 11am to 10pm
Where: 30/A, H.M.House, Juhu Tara Rd, Santacruz
A welcoming staff, an eclectic and contemporary books’ collection, a chic and sober European style store, Granth is a lot more than just a bookshop. This space also serves as an art gallery, and a venue for music concerts, talks and book launches. What’s more is that they serve one of the best cappuccinos in town - the most crucial element on a Sunday book crawl.
Opening hours: Everyday from 10am to 9pm
Where: Machinery House ,Ground Floor/3,Bharucha Marg, Kala Ghoda, Fort
If you’re all for sustainable, conscious fashion, this is the store for you. Whilst being a completely “made to order” boutique that has no wastage, Obataimu also functions as an independent bookstore with a collection of books you simply cannot find anywhere else. From books on all the different mushroom species identified today, to homemade medicine manuals, cookbooks and Japanese fashion from the 60’s - they’ve got something for everyone. For a regular update on what they have in store, follow their instagram here.
Opening hours: Everyday from 11am to 8.30pm
IV. Bargain Book Hut
Where: Shop no. 2, Simple Apts., 16th Road, Bandra and at Mumbai’s domestic airport
More than half a century old, this bookshop is still open and attracts readers thanks to it offbeat prices. If you have membership at Bargain Book Hut, you have an even greater chance at discounts. Their collections ranges across all genres - Art, Design, Health, Cookery, Philosophy, Management, as well as niche subjects such as Astronomy, Gardening, Fashion, Photography, to name a few. A special section of the store is dedicated to showcase their extensive range of children’s books. We highly recommend this store when you’re cash strapped and in search for something new to read.
Opening hours : Everyday 11am to 9pm
V. Kitab Khana
Where: 45-47, M.G.Road, Somaiya Bhavan, Ground Floor, Flora Fountain, Next to Davars College, Fort, Mumbai
This bookshop and café (called Food for Thought) located in the heart of South Bombay has became a must-seen place for travellers as far as this neighbourhood is concerned. Offering up a wide collection from contemporary books to classics in English or in regional languages, this 150-year-old structure is what you would expect from an old library. From their warm interiors, walls filled with books and authentic bookshelves to the customer service which can help you with any request - this is the epitome of a bibliophile’s paradise.
Opening hours : Everyday from 10.30am to 7.30pm
VI. Title Waves
Where: St Pauls Media Complex, 24th Road, Opp. Durelo Convent School, Off Turner Road, Bandra West
This huge and modern renovated library and bookshop has a touchscreen kiosk with a customer interface so you know exactly where to find what you’re searching for and not get lost in 8000 square feet of just books. We applaud their drive to make book hunting as easy as possible for a customer. This store also organises talks and events throughout the year and have plenty of cds’ and dvds’ choices.
Opening hours : Everyday 10am to 9pm
VII. Strand Book Stall
Where: 15-C, Dhannur Building, Sir PM Road, Borabazar Precinct, Fort
First opened in Colaba ini 1949, Strand Book Stall has moved to Fort in 1953, where it is currently located. This old bookshop has no computer system: it is only organised and memorised by the book sellers. With more than 15,000 books of all categories, needless to say that the patrons are not afraid of memory holes. This store gives us a nostalgic and soothing impression, tucked in between the wooden shelves and piles of books.
Opening hours: Everyday from 10am till 6.30 pm
Where: 1st floor, Building No. 28, Raghuvanshi Mills Compound, Senapati Bapat Marg, Upper Worli, Lower Parel
Located in the Raghuvanshi Mills complex in Lower Parel, this bookstore and library tries to highlight lesser-known indian writers and is known for it’s nonfiction section - think wildlife, photography, and a host of magazines. If you opt to become a member, you get to select a design for your card and personalize it just the way you’d like. You can also use the space for any literary centered event of your choosing. This is a bookstore that really tries and gets to know you as a reader, and you’ll be sure to have someone recommend a read to you if you simply cannot make up your mind.
Opening hours: From 11am to 8.30pm