Fact and Fiction, Delhi’s oldest bookstore shutting down
Fact and Fiction, one of the oldest and richest <g data-gr-id="66">book stores</g> in Connaught Place is going to put down its shutters as the owner of the shop Ajit Vikram Singh has announced its permanent closure in few weeks. Singh said book selling was no longer a profitable business and the owners were not even able to manage rent and operational expenses.
“In a few weeks from now, I will be bringing down the curtain on Fact and Fiction, a small bookshop I started in New Delhi, more than 30 years ago. It is not an easy decision to make, but it is no big deal. Really. Book shops shut almost every day around the world. For me, though, it is the end of a long road. I have finally accepted this after denying loyal customers for some while now, who have been hearing rumors, and can also see my stock liberally dwindle,” said Singh with a heart full of love and passion towards his bookstore which he raised like a son for 30 long years. Reading habit among the youth of this era has decreased by a great ratio. Earlier, books were read to get knowledge along with peace but now books have just become a means to gain information.
Fact and Fiction is the only bookstore in the capital which has such a rich collection of books on literary fiction, religion, cinema, philosophy, travel, music, science, history, <g data-gr-id="51">wild life</g>, cookery, ecology, economics and poetry. The bookstore also has a distinction of being the capital’s only bookshop to keep the handsome Modern Library boxed set containing all the seven volumes of Marcel Proust’s novel In Search of Lost Time. It is also probably the only shop in Delhi that keeps more than one edition of Simone Weil’s An Anthology.
When asked about the secret to the out-of-the-box collection of books he has in his bookstore since a long time, Singh said he was a book lover and his love towards book had made him selective about books, he was a critical and <g data-gr-id="52">choosy</g> man and these characteristics of him further helped the bookstore to flourish in a way different from others. “I feel very sad and disappointed with the news of <g data-gr-id="60">closure</g> of Fact and Fiction. I’m a regular customer of this bookstore and I find no place else in Delhi with such an eclectic collection of books. I find peace in here and I visit this place every two week. I think it’s the last time I’m going to buy anything <g data-gr-id="53">form</g> this place. <g data-gr-id="55">Its</g> great loss for all the book lovers of Delhi because we will never find any place as good as Fact and Fiction ever,” said <g data-gr-id="54">Deban</g> Mitra, a regular customer of the bookstore.
<g data-gr-id="42">Flipkart ,</g> <g data-gr-id="41">Amazon</g> and other online application may be a blessing for thousands of people but for Singh and other <g data-gr-id="43">booksellers ,</g> it has become a bane. The on-line shopping trend has decreased the income of <g data-gr-id="49">book shops</g> by a great margin. Earlier this month, Flipkart.com sold one million books in a single day creating less income opportunity for booksellers.
Singh wasn’t regretful for his decision of closing down the bookstore as his love towards books was like breath for him, must for survival! He believed everything had a particular time to be pulled off and this was the time for his bookstore. Although his words were clear about his decision, his eyes were showing his great love towards the store and his longing towards it.