Have you ever asked yourself what’s the purpose of a bookstore? Apart from selling books of different kinds of course!
What is it that implicitly binds a reader to visit a bookstore? The lure of books… yes but what else? The fact that the bookstore owner/manager is passionate about increasing readership themselves.
Today morning I had the opportunity to visit a local but famous bookstore in Indore City and the experience with the bookstore owner was nothing sort of maddening. Here’s what happened….
With Rakshabandhan round the corner I wanted to do some book shopping for my sisters in law (all my husband’s and son’s sisters). Why books? Being Co-founder of Rising Litera (a community of readers, writers, art & culture enthusiasts) I believe that reading truly transcends people to the other world – a world of imagination, colors, excitement, discovery, adventure and self realization. After selecting a few books I went to the billing counter and paid. I inquired about the owner and since he was around I talked to him about Rising Litera’s efforts. I mentioned about our Freedom Mask Competition and asked him whether he would like to be associated with us for gift sponsorship for the winner. The reply was a disinterested, “Send an email”. I said, “I’m here so you don’t want to hear me out?”. He again told me to send email and he would think, adding that paid sponsorship has to be there as per the rules. (RULES – Whose rules?) I felt like thumping his head on the wall, not because he wasn’t interested in sponsoring… No! It was because of his so abject callous attitude towards readership and writership. I mean why the hell are you having a bookstore if you can’t even encourage a writer?
That’s the problem with the world. It doesn’t matter if you’re not sponsoring — but it does matter if you aren’t passionate about what you are doing. You can run business on money but you can’t build it! For that you need to surround yourself with people who will build your business into a magnetic place.
I dream of Indore as the Literary Capital of Madhya Pradesh. This is one of the hurdles I face but I’m not giving in or giving up. It may take time and maybe experiences such as today may mark my nemesis, but I will rise again and ensure that the present generation grows in the beauty of penmanship and intellectual sharing — You can take my word for it!