Cafes And Libraries: Beating The Blues With Books

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Kitab Khana, Fort
Fellas Cafe, Khar
Fellas Cafe, Khar

Living in Mumbai for a little over twenty three years, I quite share a love – hate relationship with this city. I hate the rains, traffic and of course, convincing rickshaw drivers who refuse to go just about anywhere. Bustling with people, cars and more people, Mumbai often leaves you feeling overwhelmed yet isolated. But a socially awkward person like me will not complain. I rather spend my day curled up in bed, watching a movie or reading my favourite book than spend time being awkward around people.

And when I get sick and tired of my bed (and watching soppy movies), my book and I go scouting for that perfect café, library or bookstore that just let us be. When you start searching, you find a lot of unique spots in Mumbai where you can shift your eyes from pages to people, as you please.

Located in Khar West, Fellas Café is one such spot. Since the café is situated in this secluded lane, it’s never too crowded or noisy for reading and sipping on chilled watermelon juice. And the good guys at Fellas never disturb you.  Another excellent place that I chanced upon recently is Bru World Café in Bandra West. If you’re not carrying a book, they have this tiny library to keep you company and help you kill time as you wait for your cuppa. And, there is free Wifi at both these places! Update: Bru World cafe does not offer free Wi-fi anymore.

Leaping Windows Cafe & Library, Andheri
Leaping Windows Cafe & Library, Andheri

With shelves stacked with graphic novels and comics, Leaping Windows Café is a geek’s paradise. Their basement serves as a reading room and a library. The café has recently started renting their books out as well. What’s awesome is that Bidisha and Utsa at Leaping Windows Cafe personally ensure you get your steaming cup, just as you like it!

While Crossword Book Store continues to be a favorite, the one at Kemps Corner lets you carry a book to Cafe Moshe , which is located on its mezzanine floor. So now you can read whilst you sip your coffee without actually buying the book.  Landmark Book Store at Infiniti Mall, Andheri West has these comfy couches for you to sit back and lose yourself, reading your favourite book.

Kitab Khana, Fort
Kitab Khana, Fort

How can I forget Kitab Khana in Fort! This massive book store has plenty of genres to choose from. Not to forget the cozy nooks and seating arrangement for reading. The library is well lit and also includes a coffee shop that offers a range of fresh salads, sandwiches, cakes, pastries and beverages. However, you can’t carry books to the coffee shop to read until you pay for them.

My relentless search for library membership ended with the American Library in Bandra Kurla Complex. With annual membership at rupees four hundred, the American Library lets you borrow four books and two magazines every month. Although you can’t carry your mobile phone or laptop in there, the Library has set up stations with computers and internet access. The library has a quiet seating area for those who wish to read within the library.

A popular saying by C.S Lewis states that “We read to know that we’re not alone”. After all,  it’s the company that matters. And I’m never alone in this chaotic city when I have a book for company. If you too have interesting spots in the city that will make excellent places to read, feel free to share below!

Post By Ekta Tibrewal (16 Posts)

Relentless searcher of something. Wanderlust. Loves staring into spaces and sipping fresh watermelon juice. Restless soul. Constantly finds ways to procrastinate on the Internet. Dreamer and over-sleeper.

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Ekta Tibrewal

Ekta Tibrewal
Relentless searcher of something. Wanderlust. Loves staring into spaces and sipping fresh watermelon juice. Restless soul. Constantly finds ways to procrastinate on the Internet. Dreamer and over-sleeper.
  • Ankit Goda

    Hi, Thanks for the very useful article – please note that I read this and visited Bru World Cafe – its a nice joint but they have stopped the internet service all together!

    Also you can add ‘Chaa Bar’ at Neptune Mall, Bhandup to your list – it is an amazing place with Oxford Book Store in the same area – you can just pick up and read the vast collection of books for free on one of their bean bag type couches at the bag with no one to disturb you or use the table-chair set-up while sipping in on one of their many exotic teas from around the world – served in a royal english style kettle and cups :))

    • mumbaimag

      Hi Ankit, thanks for the update on Bru World cafe, will be updated on the blog post shortly. And we agree about Chaa bar, been there a few months ago. Especially since the mall is relatively less crowded that others in the vicinity, it’s a perfect place to grab a book and cuppa 🙂

  • rohan

    Kala Ghoda Cafe is nice place but you will have to carry a book. Suzzette, Powai is another great place where 10-15 books are available on French philosophers like Sartre (books are in english language)