City Landmark – H&M Takes Over New Book Depot and ED Galgotia & Sons Booksellers, Connaught Place
The new boss.
[Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi]
Hennes and Mauritz have moved into New Book Depot and ED Galgotia & Sons Booksellers.
On August 25 2016, the Swedish clothing multinational H&M opened its largest gleaming outlet in Delhi in that very white-washed corner of D-block in Connaught Place that used to house the aforementioned bookstores, both of which were tucked next to each other, and had shut down one after the other.
The New Book Depot, famous for its collection of Penguin classics, was started by a French couple in 1925. It shut shop in 2012. Its last owner, Rakesh Chandra, was famous for his fierce individuality. He occasionally got into tiffs with customers who showed “disrespect” to his books by turning the pages too violently. The Delhi Walla had written about him here.
The ED Galgotia & Sons Booksellers was opened by Bhagwat Dayal in 1933. It shut down in 2015. I had recorded its closing here.
Delhi’s first H&M had opened in 2015 in the expansive Select Citywalk mall. By entering the colonial-era district, the global chain gets entrenched in the heart of the capital and becomes truly local.
Now, then, now
Book sales have gone online because the online medium works so well for books. The atmosphere of book shops will be missed though.
A living history of Delhi. Thanks ‘Delhiwalla’ – hope to meet you in Delhi someday.
this makes me so sad – the loss of bookshops is heartbreaking – here in the uk we have virtually none now and only the other day i was telling a friend how delhi is full of wonderful bookshops – walking into a bookshop opens your mind to a world of new wisdom and knowledge – to challenges and wonders – this cannot open through online sales – there you can only find what you already know – you cannot be delighted by chance finds as you do in a bookshop and find yourself picking up unexpected titles…….h&m is soulless nonsense ….i wish india does not lose its soul and become as ugly as the west……
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