A British Council Pakistan initiative, the Lahore Book Bazaar offers book lovers to own the books they desire
nown for its interactive, versatile, and educational events, the British Council Library has recently introduced ‘book bazaars’ at their Lahore and Karachi branches. These ‘bazaars’ feature a vast array of literary masterpieces, from Qurat ul Ain Haider’s Aag Ka Darya to Anil Ananthaswamy’s The Edge of Physics. Simply put, these have a book for everyone.
The Lahore Book Bazaar is a readers’ paradise. Its purported aim is to provide the 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 aren’t 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 never-ending book collection at the bazaar caters to various age groups, with Anne of Green Gables for young readers and Amar Akbar Anthony: Bollywood, Brotherhood, and the Nation for the elderly fans of Hindi cinema. A trip to the library should definitely make a family excursion.
Fatima Usman, 10, a member of the British Council Library, says the bazaar makes a peaceful library space which she uses for studying also.
Along with novels and literary masterpieces, the bazaar boasts a collection of coffee table books. These are perfect for placement 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 some splendid titles such as Dancers: Behind the Scenes With the Royal Ballet by Andrej Uspenski, Encyclopedia of the History of Astronomy and Astrophysics by David Leverington, and The Cambridge Photographic Moon Atlas by Alan Chu and Mario Weigand.
The seemingly never-ending book collection at the bazaar caters to various age groups, with Anne of Green Gables for young readers and Amar Akbar Anthony: Bollywood, Brotherhood, and the Nation for the elderly fans of Hindi cinema.
Hassaam, an employee at the library, claims that the public response has been great. He says people are participating enthusiastically and purchasing a lot of books. Commenting on the concept of the book bazaar, he says that the readers, , especially non-members, had long requested for such events and opportunities to explore the library. “The bazaar is a perfect opportunity for all book enthusiasts to pay a visit to the library and be amazed by everything it has to offer: separate study spaces, massive collections of books across genres, digital resources such as iPads and gaming consoles, and a designated section for kids 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 upon the plight of women in a patriarchal society. You 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 school teacher, who visited the bazaar, says she found the environment “on par with international public libraries, especially in the way the bookshelves have been organized and comfortable seating space provided. It all makes a tour of the book bazaar a pleasure.”
The writer is a student of law, politics, and economics. Her areas of interest include advocacy for women’s rights, European history, and culinary arts