Art Book Center, Ahmedabad

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We kept hearing about this amazing Art Book Store from lots of professor and student types in Ahmedabad, but we didn’t visit until our time was quickly coming to an end.  You know the frantic plans of “we might not ever have a chance to see this place” and lists with things to check off.  Partly, it was my thought of “where could he possibly find more room for another book?” ….but he always proves me wrong with “I will just buy another book case, A-N-N-E!

The above sign points you in the right direction through the windy narrow neighbor streets to a treasure trove of rare Indian art, architecture and special editions.  The shop’s brightly colored exterior announces you are finally  in the right place. imgp2685

And the interior is warm and inviting with ethnic decorations and hangings, trimming the room like a joyful Christmas Tree. imgp2695

The bookshelves are FILLED to over flowing with unparalleled selections. Manharbhai has a knowledge of nearly every single title.  imgp2693

There are  beautiful paper and decorated envelopes for which Ahmedabad is renowned.

Manharbhai’s story is one of vision, faith,perseverance and hard work. Born over 70 years ago into a very poor family of six children, he had to forgo his dream of higher education despite his passion for learning.  He finished  his typing English course work to go on to accept a typist job to support his family. He eventually joined a shop that specialized in out of print and rare books.  He learned the trade quickly and after saving and discipline, started his own shop in 1970. He bought the first floor of the house where he lived as a boy and converted it into a small two-room bookshop. As the years passed, it began to fill it with stacks of remarkable collections of Indian architecture, art, miniature paintings , classical music, dance, and textile design (another specialty of Ahmedabad.)   This dear man maintained a full time job to feed his family for 40 years and opened his little dream shop in the evenings. Now retired, he spends his entire day in  the shop. If there is a title you can not find there, he will work to obtain it for you . He takes credit cards, mails books to wherever you want to send them….and they arrive.  Customer service is very important. He has email and takes orders over the phone. Be ready  to browse, ask questions ,and spend as  this little shop is filled with temptations.

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Manharbhai and his son, Ketan now are working together as Dad is passing along this years of knowledge. He told me that his beloved wife and mother of his children “was gone.”   His favorite place to be is surrounded by his books….. as he waits to be with her again!   From 101 ways to Experience Ahmedabad

Phone: 079 26582130                                                                                                                         http://www.artbookcenter.net

Namaste. . . . .This Is Ahmedabad

images (18)                                                                imgp2701 (1)

About annetbell

I am a retired elementary teacher, well seasoned world traveler,new blogger, grandmother, and a new enthusiastic discoverer of the wonderfully complex country of India. Anne
This entry was posted in Architecture, India, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Art Book Center, Ahmedabad

  1. That looks like my kind of shop! Great post:)

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  2. Anne, your words are beautiful and thought provoking. Namaste.

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  3. ItsRonEvan says:

    This seems like a great book store. I mean this one is out of the ordinary like the glassed bookstores you see in mall. Since I am a book lover, i like going to such places. What types of books are there? I also love the ethnic design of it

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    • annetbell says:

      It is indeed unique , Ron and you are right totally different from the mall stores. The books are all “arts” themed….fine art, architecture, dance, music, history, and they are about contributions of India to the arts. Hope you get to visit it or ones like this someday! Namaste. . . Anne

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