Renowned for its interactive, versatile and educational events, the British Council Library recently introduced ‘Book Bazaars’ at its Lahore and Karachi branches. These “bazaars” display a wide range of literary masterpieces, from Qurat ul Ain Haider Aag Ka Daria at Anil Ananthaswamy At the edge of physics. In other words, these have a book for everyone.
The Lahore Book Bazaar is a reader’s paradise. Its purported goal is to provide book lovers with a platform that offers them to own the books they desire. The diversity of the bazaar can be gauged from the list of authors it features. These include, but are not limited to, LM Montgomery, Carys Bray, Phil Rickman and Andrew Norman.
There’s a decent selection of genres, including self-help, young adult fiction, Urdu literature, politics, and modern history. The seemingly endless book collection at the bazaar caters to different age groups, with Anne of Green Gables for young readers and Amar Akbar Anthony: Bollywood, brotherhood and the nation for aged hindi cinema fans. A trip to the library should definitely make for a family excursion.
Fatima Usman, 10, a member of the British Council Library, says the bazaar provides a peaceful library space which she also uses to study.
In addition to novels and literary masterpieces, the bazaar has a collection of coffee table books. They are perfect for placing on tables or shelves around the house, for casual reading. The coffee table books are available at a fairly reasonable price of Rs 1,500 each. There are splendid titles like Dancers: behind the scenes at the Royal Ballet by Andrej Uspensky, Encyclopedia of the History of Astronomy and Astrophysics by David Leverington, and The Photographic Atlas of the Cambridge Moon by Alan Chu and Mario Weigand.
The seemingly endless book collection at the bazaar caters to different age groups, with Anne of Green Gables for younger readers and Amar Akbar Anthony: Bollywood, Brotherhood, and the Nation for older fans of Hindi cinema..
Hassaam, a library worker, says the response from the public has been excellent. He says people enthusiastically participate and buy lots of books. Commenting on the concept of the book bazaar, he said that readers, especially non-members, have long clamored for such events and opportunities to explore the library. “The bazaar is a perfect opportunity for all book lovers to visit the library and marvel at all it has to offer: separate study spaces, massive collections of books in all genres, digital resources such as iPads and game consoles, and a children’s section with board games and children’s books,” he adds.
The Lahore Book Bazaar also includes books on social topics such as here comes the sun by Nicole Dennis-Ben, a book that reflects on the fate of women in a patriarchal society. You will also find books by Monica Wood, Rachel Joyce, Cecelia Ahern and Victoria Whitworth. A number of Pakistani authors are also featured.
Samina Khan, 50, a primary school teacher, who visited the bazaar, says she found the environment “on par with international public libraries, especially in the way the shelves were organized and the comfortable seating provided. All this makes visiting the book bazaar a pleasure.
The author is a student of law, politics and economics. Her areas of interest include advocacy for women’s rights, European history and the culinary arts.