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One of many final surviving unbiased bookstores within the metropolis reinvents itself with the addition of Qahveh Khaneh, a compact cafe 

One of many final surviving unbiased bookstores within the metropolis reinvents itself with the addition of Qahveh Khaneh, a compact cafe 

An fascinating e book, a superb cup of espresso and the hours can go by. We aren’t speaking concerning the cafes in Hyderabad the place, within the off-peak hours, you’re prone to discover somebody poring over a e book or engaged on a laptop computer. Consider a restaurant connected to a bookstore that may rework into an adda for the change of concepts, studying suggestions or enjoying a boardgame. Qahveh Khaneh, the compact cafe on the entrance of Akshara Books in Journalists Colony, Jubilee Hills, Hyderabad, is constructed on such an idea.

Within the Center East, Qahveh Khaneh refers to espresso homes the place folks socialise, change information and browse. Abhilasha Atluri, the entrepreneur behind Hyderabad’s Qahveh Khaneh, might need borrowed a Center-Jap identify for her enterprise however she mooted the concept of beginning a restaurant connected to Akshara Books on getting back from her school stint in the US, the place she noticed Barnes & Noble bookstores adjoining to Starbucks. 

Akshara is among the many previous few unbiased bookstores within the metropolis. The shop, arrange within the Nineties, has modified a number of addresses earlier than it moved to its present location eight years in the past. In its early years, Akshara set a precedent by internet hosting visiting authors in interactive classes with readers. With the opening of Qahveh Khaneh in January 2022, the shop has revived the internet hosting small occasions, calling them ‘Guftagoos at QK’. Just a few images on a moodboard of the cafe paperwork vignettes of those occasions. There will likely be extra.

Abhilasha Atluri at Qahveh Khaneh

Abhilasha Atluri at Qahveh Khaneh
| Photograph Credit score: Sangeetha Devi Dundoo

The cafe is proscribed to the small backyard space main into the shop and is air-conditioned to make sure consolation from the searing summer time warmth. “We wouldn’t have a kitchen space; so the menu is straightforward — coffees and cookies; we will likely be introducing muffins quickly,” says Abhilasha. 

The concept is to let the books take priority and create an environment the place readers work together with one another and the shop personnel reasonably than making a fast buy and shifting away.

The workforce that runs the shop is aware of common prospects by identify and is conscious of their studying habits. I deliberated over a replica of Greenlights by Matthew McConaughey and the shop supervisor Kavitha tells me that the title has obtained good suggestions from earlier consumers. This casual, private vibe units an unbiased bookstore aside.

The shop went in for a brand new look in 2019 to make the roughly 1500 sq. ft space seem extra spacious. The pandemic has been robust on a number of companies. Through the lockdowns, Akshara too waited in hope of higher tidings. Each Kavitha and Lakshmi, the proprietor, agree that the sale of books witnessed an uptick within the final two years. “We had new prospects and noticed that extra folks picked up fiction,” says Lakshmi.

For bookstores, the largest menace has been from e-commerce giants who fork out engaging reductions. Lakshmi is conscious that Akshara can’t compete with the e-commerce gamers: “We attempt for existence. Just a few prospects examine the net value and the bookstore value. We clarify to them that it could not be possible to run the shop if we provide enormous reductions. Lots of them perceive.”

The Akshara and the Qahveh Khaneh groups hope that the shop continues to be patronised by outdated and new prospects. We concur, for the sake of unbiased bookstores which have turn into a vanishing breed.

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