Shaista Fatima/New delhi
April 23rd is celebrated as World Book Day. While book reading habits have changed over time thanks to technology and diversion to television, cinema, and other recreations, the lovers of knowledge have remained the same worldwide.
In an era where e-books have found space, the hard-soft bounds are still the go-to choice for quintessential book nerds.
World Book Day
Situated at Delhi's Ansari road in Bharat Scouts Building is a publication cum distribution house Prakash Books Pvt Ltd running since 1966. It's one of Asia’s largest distributors that has an in-house publication wing for children's popular book series called “Wonderhouse” and for classics called “Fingerprints”
Sunil Bilawal, the customer care manager for Prakash says, “the love for books is eternal, from a small kiosk in Connaught Place to a godown at Ansari road, the journey’s been a roller coaster for us…we wish to expand it further…”
Bundle of books at the godown
Asked how they manage the incumbency of e-books Sunil says, “We don’t have any competition with the e-books vendors, we don’t deal with them…I think those who love paper-bound books would never go digital…”
Daily they deal with various publishing houses ranging from Penguin, Bloomsbury, Simon and Schuster, Rupa, Vikings, HarperCollins, HarperOne, and many more.
Rohit, Customer Care Executive at Prakash humbly says, “Around 20k to 25k books are supplied to various libraries, book stores, cafes’ daily…”
Sunil says, “During Covid the market was highly affected, though we found a surge in online supply, the offline was drastically affected, the market is gearing up now and slowly and steadily it’ll be improving…”
Major employees at Prakash having been working since 25 years and they wish to continue so.
As my own experience goes, It was a balmy Saturday of July 2020, the rules of the lockdown were still there with a bit of relaxation, having bought books online with minimum discount and poor print quality, I happened to scroll through “From” address on the carton, it said “Roshanpura, Apna Bazaar, Daryaganj, New Delhi”, a sigh of relief spread across my face and within no time I was on the streets of Purani Dilli all geared up in my mind to visit the shops personally.
Storage of books at Prakash
One thing led to another, as the bookstore at Apna bazaar was out of the titles I needed back then, they were kind enough to tell me about Prakash Books Pvt. Ltd and voila it turned out to be a heaven for bookworms. After handing a handwritten note with the titles on it and waiting patiently for them I was handed over my collectibles. The best part was the 25-30% discount on the printed price. It not only makes reading books affordable but also motivates one to come back again and again.