Itís a steal

Bargain Book Hut brings off-stream books at unbelievably low prices, plans to replicate 'concept shop' across India

No one is going to judge you when you stop and glance into Shape Up Your Bum at Bargain Book Hut at Kalaghoda. It's one of their bestsellers.

At prices that begin as low as Rs 17 are books on art, health, fiction, non-fiction, art, history, photography, comics, besides interactive books for children.

Opened in February, the Wilco Publishing House "concept shop", the brainchild of group MD Ajai Shah, 54, brings to the Mumbai reader subjects untouched by bigger chains, that too at affordable prices.

"Everyone loves a genuine bargain. I got the idea from Big Bazaar and thought why not bring the bargain into books," says Ajai.

Wilco, with its 54 years of publishing experience and networks across the world sources the books from several countries.

"Sometimes we just have a few seconds to decide if a book will sell if picked in bulk. We use our experience and knowledge of reading habits to make the decision. Sometimes we just pick titles from our travel abroad," adds Ajai.

One such decision is a volume called Masters of Colours, a series on painting by EagleMoss Publication selling for as low as Rs 59. "I picked these volumes for Mumbaikars. Art should not have boundaries and price should never be a deterrent to enjoy such masterpieces," he says.

The books are sourced on what will sell. So while the shop doesn't stock any "frontline books" (they are for mainstream outlets, says Ajai), it gives more space to subjects otherwise ignored. "You will have much choice in bestsellers and management and philosophy. What if you want to enjoy a book on interiors? In the years to come, these are the books that will be in demand. An e-book will not help a kid in interactive learning and a kindle will not give you the joy of surfing through an illustrated history book," he says.

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