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This is article written by Nirav joshi[Yogi/ freelance writer/Journalist] from

Mumbai. He can be contacted by e mail:josnirav@gmail.com and +91-9987881391.

Books are our best friends.

Books are our best friends. Today when TV channels and internet has occupied the
mindsets of millions, the number of book readers has apparently declined. Business
class Gujarat communities are not much known for its fondness of reading books
though there are several sections of society which have continued their interests
in Gujarati books.
In Mumbai, Princess Street near Kalbadevi road is the famous place for all Gujarat
books lovers where more than six publishers’ shops are located.

The owners of these publications have unanimously agreed to the fact that selling
of Gujarati books has increased gradually in Mumbai though most of Gujarati
generation is now educated in English medium. The demand of Gujarati books in
Gujarati Diasporas living abroad is very high especially in US, UK and in South
Africa as well in Canada. One of the prominent book publishing Company,
N.M.Thakkar Co. established by Mohandas Thakkar alias Anubhavananda eighty years
ago. He himself authored more than 40 books which are based on philosophy and Yoga
as well Tantra. Mohanbhai’s son Hemant bhai is looking business of Gujarati books
publication along with his wife.
He said “Today there is an overall demand of varied types of Gujarati books
ranging from healthcare to stock market and erotic to classical music subjects.
Religious, cooking Aurveda and naturopath books are also very popular”. He said
that several books are so popular that they have been reprinted more than 10 times
for Gujarati readers.

“Home remedies by Dadima” authored by renowned Aurvedacharya Mohanlal Chunilal


Dhami has been reproduced for more than 20 times. Hemantbhai’s company has printed
more than 4000 books so far. There are 400 books available now. Gujarati readers
are very interested in religious books which yielded them good business. Sri
Morori Bapu’s “Amrut Ramayan” is very popular among senior readers. ‘Kamsutra’ by
Vatsyayan is also among best seller books with 25th edition so far. Gujaratis are
great vegetarians, so books on cooking and nature cure are sold instantly. Book
buyers are among 35 to 50 years age. Hemantbhai also introduced new innovative
marketing schemes to popularize the books among all class of Gujaratis. He
arranges two programmes based on various cultural themes alike “literature reading
with music” and “Musical night on Raga” and so on. Five books serious on
Naturopath written by Alka Mehta narrating the various tastes are similar of books
written by N.R.I Deepak Chopara to some extent for enhancing food habits of
vegetarians.

At the junction of princess street, another publication shop which is 120 years
old, is N.M.Tripathi publishers. It was founded by Govardhan M Tripathi who penned
“Saraswatichandra- I-IV”, the author of world renowned book on which Nutan’s movie
was produced in 60s. Publication House is managed by Karthikbhai Tripathi now.
Kartikbhai said “we have been publishing 10 books each year” Books on cooking,
religious and literature are in great demand though Ahmedabad based Gujaratis
readers are more aggressive buyers in comparison with Mumbai readers, he admits.
His company also sells translated books from other language into Gujarati. One of
them is famous Marathi book “Mritunjay” by Shivaji Sawant and English book
“Poliena” by Alinor Porter which is reprinted 5th edition.

Ashok Shah, one of the owners of publication house Navbharat Sahitya Mandir, says
that now a day almost all kind of Gujarati books is ordered by readers. We have
good books buyers as lots of topics have been added since last few years in
Gujarat language. In his shop nearly 100 visitors visit daily. He also manages to
design cultural programmes for book buyers at various places which culminate the
profitability of this house for selling books. One of regular book buyers to his
shop, Pankaj Pandya says that he visits the shop twice a week and spends almost
Rs.500-1500 per month on purchase of thought provoking books. He likes books which
are truthful and based on life experiences. He also read Hindi as well English
books.

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