College Street: The book hub of Kolkata

'Boipara' keeping the joy of reading alive and well

News - India & You

May 8, 2017

/ By and / Kolkata

College Street, in the eastern Indian metropolis of Kolkata, remains a favourite for visitors and locals looking to stack up their libraries.

With stalls dating back over 150 years, the old world charm of this hub of books, locally known as the boipara or book lane, is undeniable. Shopping for books in this neighbourhood entails the joy of bargaining. Numerous universities, heritage spots such as the Indian Coffee House and Paramount juice centre, Putiram sweets and snacks shop can be found in this area, which is located in the northern part of Kolkata.

Second-hand classics, rare editions and everyday academic books can be found in boipara, which at one point was also the kernel for the intellectuals of the city. Bookworms, bibliophiles of all kind and the average student can be found here, apart from tourists and locals just strolling by. The smell of old books is in the air alongside curious booksellers who are always inquiring with passers-by about what book they are looking for. There goes a saying in Kolkata, “If you cannot find a book in College Street, there is hardly any chance you’d find it anywhere else in the world.”

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