EVERYTHING to know about Daryaganj Sunday Book Market
Purani Dilli is undoubtedly the secret ingredient of all things spicy and fun. Everytime I visit, there is some change & yet the raw appeal of the old cultural spots remains intact. It is where ‘Old is Gold’ becomes true. I remember being taken to an all-time famous bazaar by my Father to collect some college books, back when I started college. I admit I didn’t pay much attention to the area nearby and enjoy it fully back then.
I spared this Sunday for this market to revisit the olden times and search a few interesting fashion books. The place itself has become more approachable in these times, why? If you are not very much a bus person, first 2 options work the best:
- Take an Uber-Share to Daryaganj Sunday Book Market directly (or another landmark Delite Cinema). Plus 11am is just the right non-peak hour for taking the cab economically.
- Travel via Delhi Metro to get down at Delhi Gate metro station Exit Gate no.3.
- Car Parking is a quiet a bother. So better avoid it.
This open-air roadside floor market starts right as you step out of Delhi Gate Metro (Gate no.3) and extends both ways- right and left. To the left, it runs for a smaller walk of about 5 mins till you reach Delite cinema. To the Right, however, it is a long walk till the full stretch of the market including some zig-zag alleys.
Address: Asaf Ali Marg, Daryaganj.
The Bazaar typically has a history of opening only on Sundays (closed all other days) from 10am onwards till late evening. Finding books in a pile is a bit of hassle, especially in summers, so reaching by around 11am is a smart idea when all the fresh stock is spread well on the floors by the shopkeepers and is not piled up any more.
This Bookworms paradise pools books in almost any subject one can imagine apart from all vocational & professional courses – MBBS, MBA, Engineering, LLB, Arts, Literature- Classics and New, Home Science, Interior design, Fashion design and much more. All school books are also available at cheaper prices as they are second-hand.
Over the years, one thing that has changed for the good here is that shops are more keen on stocking books of Max 2-3 yrs old editions and so books are not too old to refer to if you are keen on buying newer editions. That also means that if you wish to sell your old books (older than 2-3 yrs back) here, shopkeepers will bluntly refuse without further ado as these don’t resell that well.
There are a very few properly Roomed shops in the deeper alleys of the market that claim to be open for all 7 days a week but these are very few.
Some aspects of the market that I especially enjoyed:
- A very economical Rental System: One can find books- especially Novels –English, Hindi and sometimes even other languages, in dirt cheap prices like Rs20 or Rs50. These can be returned back after deducting Rs10 of the price (resold or exchanged) to the same shop on any other Sunday. This is a unique Rental system which is very useful for voracious readers on a budget. However, do not expect first-class paper quality as these books are read a thousand times over and over but again these are not very bad quality most of the times.
- DVDs: A handful of selected vendors sell pretty inexpensive Video Game DVDs and some do a similar rental system too.
- Comics and Magazines: Many Indian and Foreign publications of Magazines and Comics are sold here which are mostly not exchangeable. A Manga-lover can spot fairly good Graphic Novels like Akira, Naruto, Watchman series and many similar –as per weight.
- Price Per Kilo Game: Many shops hoard books of all categories mixed/unsorted and sell them from Rs20 to 200 per kilo. You will need quiet a lot of time to sort out the books from this ocean and sometimes may not be able to find what you want- even though it exists somewhere in the pile. Shopkeepers are also unaware of the location of books category wise and are of a little help. So be ready for a keen ‘Book-Hunting’ because the result is quiet rewarding and total price of the books is quiet less when you pay by the kilos.
- Affordable Stationary: This place is also replete with stalls that particularly sell Good-quality stationary at rock bottom prices including Notebooks, Charts, Maps, Pencil/ pens/erasers, A4 Size sheets, Drawing books, calculators, tracing paper and art supplies.
- Hobby & Self Help Books: To any Hobbyist, I would suggest making a list of books you wish to buy before going for the hunt. You will be surprised to find most of the books somewhere if you try well enough. Even if you can’t find a few, try after a few weeks in a new stock. Some shopkeepers are even willing to exchange their watsapp number so they can tell you if that particular book is in stock, but they will charge a bit higher for the services.On the other hand, some shopkeepers sell books dirt-cheap, don’t know the importance of any title they might be selling in the heap and also can’t help you at all in locating anything.There is always something for Cooking, Quilting, Drawing Arts, Photography, Travel & Designing. The wide range may lure you to buy more than you planned for, so go with enough cash (just in case nearby ATMs run out of money).
- Pocket- Friendly Replicas of new Publications: You will also find the copies of New best selling novels and books by famous authors in Hindi and English are available starting from Rs 80 only. These have a decently good paper quality too.
Prices & Bargains:
Books get quoted for at least 1/3rd to 1/4th of the price but rest depends on your own bargaining skills. Some shopkeepers assist you pleasantly with finding a particular title but they will charge higher prices. So do bargain.
Food Joints & Other interesting stuff:
This place sports a few well known food joints as well including MacDonald’s, Chor Bizarre, Changezi Chicken, Zaika, Moti Mahal Restaurant & Udupi Café. Food is never a problem in Old Delhi.
We also spotted a few interesting roadside stalls selling very cheap kitchen cutlery and utensils, children toys, women’s jewellery, cups and saucer sets, shoes and travel bags. One is bound to find something unexpected each time. So keep your eyes open- no matter if it’s a Sunday.
If you are free this Sunday, prepare a list and go Book-Hunting. Wear comfortable clothing, a sturdy flip-flop and a cap or bandana for summers. Carry a Bag, a bottle of water and 3-4hrs at handy. You will not regret it!
Share this post to anyone who might need this information.
Any questions? Comment below.
OTHER POULAR READS: