The heartbreaking sight of books floating in water at Kolkata’s Boi Para in College Street that surfaced on the internet after Cyclone Amphan, had many wondering about the fate of bookshops. Sad posts about the same did the rounds of social media for some time before a little magazine, Bodshobdo, and an online book seller, Boighor.in, came forward to find a solution. They are trying to arrange for an online sale of the damaged books as memorabilia for the people in Kolkata and other parts of India.
“Boi Para is not only about the commerce of books surrounding its purchase and sale. It’s also about a lot of sentiments for people who have once frequented the place. Since the lockdown, bookshops on College Street have suffered losses. The cyclone Amphan has further aggravated the situation with books getting damaged too. So, we decided to categorise them under partially damaged and fully damaged for people to buy online as souvenirs. We are contacting publishers for both text and non-textbooks,” said Susnato Chowdhury, editor of the little magazine.
The partially damaged books are the ones that have got wet or the cover torn but all pages are intact and readable while the fully damaged are the ones that don’t have a few pages in between or are not readable. But the sentiments of the people who once visited Boi Para are so strong even now that many messages poured in showing interest in buying the books online.
“People are naturally more keen on buying the partially damaged books. But some have also shown interest in fully-damaged ones too. I knew Susnatoda long before we thought of this initiative. Since he has the publishers’ contacts and I have the logistics for online sale, we thought of collaborating for the sellers and also the buyers who are unable to visit College Street now. But their love for books remain,” said Tuhin Mallik, founder of the online book store.
Source: Times of India