At a time when digital media and electronic devices are changing the way we eat, sleep, run, write and read, comes a bookshop that makes you feel like you’re in a time machine that has taken you back to a bookshop as it used to be. Chapter 101 is everything that you expect a bookshop to be … well, almost. I’ll come back to that later.
The brainchild, or shall I say, labor of love, of Mr. Raju Singh, this warm little store opened its doors in November 2016 at South Point Mall on Golf Course Road. Mr. Singh, who was a banking professional, quit corporate life to set up his own garment export company along with his wife, who was an IAS officer then. After having successfully established a business, Mr. Singh decided to indulge in his passion of reading, writing and collecting books.
So, what can you hope to find at Chapter 101? Rare books, many classics, some first editions; all carefully curated and painstakingly collected on travels abroad. Leather bound books rubbing shoulders with paperbacks. Priceless books on Gandhi and Tagore here, a prized copy of Ghalib in Urdu there. Books on Art, Music, Erotica, War, Card games, Golf, Poetry and Humor. Although the store has only 700-800 books currently, shiploads are expected to wash more books ashore gradually.
Chapter 101 exudes warmth, thanks to it’s tastefully done interiors. With wood paneled walls and leather upholstered arm chairs, you would want to just curl up here with a good book and a glass of wine (or cognac in these wintry times) for company. Sigh …However, since it is not permissible to serve wine (or cognac) in a bookshop, you will just have to make do with tea or coffee. This is why I said it is “almost” everything a bookshop should be!
Interestingly, there is no blue print on how the store will shape up. “The store has a life of it’s own. It will evolve with the kind of people that drop in to buy or browse or just enjoy the smell of leather bound books!” according to the owner.
If you’re looking for a bargain then this is definitely not the place for you. Most of the books are priced upwards of Rupees Five hundred, some going as high as a Lakh or so but then these are rare, limited editions which would fill any book lover’s heart with delight. However, if you’re looking for a piece of literature tinged with a hundred watt halo of nostalgia then you’ve come to the right place.
What: Chapter 101 Contact: 0124 2575684
Where: 101D, 1st Floor South Point Mall, DLF City Phase V, Golf Course Road, Gurgaon