Is there anything as surreal as the feeling of being surrounded by books, of gently smiling over that pleasant scent infused in the air? ‘Bhaiya, Keats wali voh kaali kitaab dena’ from one of the corners, the other corners echoing ‘Oh, I love psychological thrillers. You should read those too.’ That’s the beauty of spending your weekend in a book market, just like I did. As I walked through the Mahila Haat Book Market in Daryaganj on a recent Sunday, I felt compelled to share the experience with others.
It’s a world of books and we’re all visitors traveling over the place, looking for refuge in these lovely books. The entrance into the place is led by a series of stairs that take you up to the Mahila Haat – the main book market area. And you really don’t need to wait till you’re up there to start relishing your trip. The staircase is girded by booksellers who are selling pocket-friendly copies of famous novels and plays. Even before I reach the main market, my heart would start beating loudly. I’d be oozing excitement and curiosity about each of those books that would await me, just as I await them. What else could be a better welcome than this?
And once one is in the main book market area, there is a whole paradise laid before you. The colorful treasures of books would call out your name, and in no time, you would find yourself walking toward these bundles of love, joy, and pleasure. From study books to comics to fiction and self-help books—you’d find all of it here. A boundless range of books neatly lined up on pavements. I can recall how every time the buzz in the air would tempt me to buy all of those books. And undoubtedly, I would not be kidding if I say that those two hours could even induce you to consider reading 12564 books in a month.
Specifically, for poetry lovers, this place is a must-go-to. Through the lane stretching on one of the edges of the Haat, the stalls are filled with books of verses and poems—both second-hand and new. And this place is definitely meant for those who carry a special fondness for old ragged poetry books. With frayed pages which are torn at the corners and tinted in the middle—yes, precisely those! This Mahila Haat Sunday Book Market not only lets you enjoy being in a world of books but also lets you savor a visually pleasing environment. If you crave aesthetics and wish to give your eyes a treat—a treat of lovely books—visiting this Haat would be one of the best decisions!
Yes, for all those who find a special thrill in buying books off the streets, this is the place for you. Located in Daryaganj, the nearest metro station to the market is Delhi Gate, which is just 200 meters away! YES! It’s a place worth visiting! Thousands and thousands of books for sale—low prices that would, at times, even let you buy five books for the price of one! Filled with bibliophiles, mostly students, strolling around this market would make your heart happy, just as it makes mine. This wasn’t the first time I’ve been to this place and in case you’ve never been there, I hope that even your first trip to this Sunday book market becomes the first of the many more to follow. It is the comforting aura that takes one back to this world of books now and then, again and again.