Memos from Asia

Charming Book Cafes Around India

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There is nothing more appealing for a book lover than to sit down with a cup of hot tea or coffee in one hand and a favorite novel in the other.

Fueling this desire are book cafes, fascinating little destinations where bookworms can spend hours browsing through hundreds of titles while indulging in the occasional culinary delight.

Here are four such book cafes from across India that will surely win over the hearts, minds, and stomachs, of visiting bibliophiles.

Literati – Goa

Literati personifies the laidback beach lifestyle of Goa with its homely character.

Located inside a Goan house, this quaint bookshop has been a book lover’s paradise ever since its inception in 2005.

The rooms inside the house are packed with shelves full of books, featuring the latest bestsellers, second-hand titles, and a small collection of antiquarian books.

Literati also has a cute café where visitors can have tea, wine, beer, and some snacks.

Pagdandi – Pune

A trendy bookstore, Pagdandi, is all about promoting an “alternate lifestyle.”

The books on sale here are specially curated and feature several independent authors.

The atmosphere encourages community interaction with places to sit, read a book, or mingle with others and converse about current affairs or famous pieces of literature.

The menu at the café satiates the stomach with organic and comfort food, from ginger lemon tea and Vietnamese ice coffee to ciabatta rolls, and bagels with cream cheese.

Leaping Windows – Mumbai

Leaping Windows in Versova is a café first, and then, a reading library.

The ground and first floors of this trendy spot in the city caters to stomach hungry souls, whereas the basement is brimming with an impressive collection of comics, manga, and graphics novels.

Visitors can pay a minimal amount to sit and read everything from Marvel comics to obscure graphic novels from around the world.

Regular readers can take a three or six-month membership for the library to devour their 5000+ book selection.

The café, on the other hand, has an equally diverse and extensive menu with pork samosas, gnocchi, and a falafel burger.

They also have a drinks menu with tap and bottled craft beers.

Illiterati – Dharamshala

One of the most stunning and distinctly appealing bookshops in India, Illiterati, is located in the mountainous town of McLeod Ganj, Dharamshala.

The book collection here is eclectic with genres such as philosophy, homeopathy, tantric studies, and contemporary politics finding shelf space over popular bestsellers.

Illiterati promises its visitors several nooks to sit and read, or you can make the most of the beautiful location and take a seat on the terrace instead.

The food at the café is seasonal but organic and freshly prepared. Their Brian’s Burger with blue cheese and any one of the thin-crust pizzas are highly recommended.

India has several such charming book cafes. However, the one’s above truly stand out for their uniqueness and delightful bookish atmosphere.

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