Triplicane Pavement Shops And Election Results

Today I decided to make a trip to Triplicane, to buy a few books and also visit the roadside book market. Pycrofts Road on Triplicane, is lined with college book stores selling new books. Since many students cannot afford new books or wish to save some money they resort to second hand books.

Taking advantage of this demand, small time sellers have set up shop on the streets, selling books on the pavements. They sell everything from engineering, management to accountancy books. Typically these shops operate from evening 4 pm till roughly 10 in the night, when college students return home. There are two shops though, which sell second hand books but are housed in pucca shops, these two shops operate from the morning 10 am till 10 in the night. There is one pavement seller who doesn’t sell second hand books, but pirated books, usually at one third the cost. He sold Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, ten days after its official launch, at Rs 150, compared to the retail price of Rs 895.

While at Burma Bazaar I witnessed celebration and joy at the change of government, in Triplicane, the mood was the exact opposite amongst the pavement book sellers. They still remember the DMK governments ‘Singara Chennai’ initiative when pavement shops were removed. They also remember that during that period the mamool rates went through the roof and it was increasingly difficult to conduct business. Here there is a sense of fear and anxiety amongst the pavement shop owners. They just want to be left to do their business peacefully.

I personally hope that the new government won’t remove these shops, I myself have purchased some rare textbooks in these shops, sometimes which aren’t available in regular retail shops, or are too expensive for me to afford them.

1 Comment so far

  1. Ganesh Raja (unregistered) on May 13th, 2006 @ 8:40 pm

    Do you think it is right to let these shops sell pirated books. Think the amount of money the publisher is loosing when you start buying books from thee sleazy shops.

    Hands down support the Second hand books and those shops should not be removed but IMHO the pirated books should need to be dealt with 100%.

    You also see these shops around Spencer Plaza considering that it is a big time tourist spot – at least for the hordes of foreigners who seem to be coming to Chennai – it gives a very bad outlook for India and the publishing industry.

    If you look at the Amount that you pay if you buy a book in its original edition i.e. in UK and the amount you pay if you purchase in India is already a pittance and we should not further squeeze those publishers and authors.



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