Friday 10 January 2014

Kitab Khana - My Favourite Bombay Bookshop

Whenever I am in South Bombay,  I always make a point of visiting Kitab Khana - an independent bookshop with old world charm that stocks an interesting range of reading matter. It was actually Mr Jules that first introduced me to the shop as he used to work just around the corner.  When I was looking for a book about Art Deco buildings in Bombay, he led me to Kitab Khana. For indeed, it stocks an array of informative coffee table books and I have since bought quite a few tomes on such subject matter as architecture, Indian wildlife and Indian handicrafts.

With its intellectual, library-like ambience,  the store has 'proper' dark wooden bookshelves, piles of books on tables as you walk in and a balustraded mezzanine level above you.  It's worth a look just for the interior. The only thing that is missing is a bit of dust!  And there is a little area set aside for children and you will find a vegetarian café at the back (appropriately named 'Food for Thought' - which I have yet to try out).

Mr Jules's Christmas present was purchased on my last trip to Kitab Khana
(well he finds it fascinating, even if you don't!)
Kitab Khana stocks all the classics - from both English literature as well as Indian. And if you want to pick up some contemporary literature from Indian writers (in English), you will find it all here. As well as novels and biographies, the store also has the usual business management, IT, travel, cookery, health and other reference sections that you would find in a modern bookshop. I could honestly spend hours browsing in Kitab Khana.

Look, Mr Men books in the foreground!

Excellent selection of coffee table books

Love the historic characters on the frieze above

Reference books galore

English literature including every Agatha Christie novel
Loads of books about Bombay - my favourite section

No shortage of staff!

Are you being served?

Kitab Khana
Ground Floor
Somaiya Bhavan
45/47 MG Road
Fort, Mumbai, 400001
Tel: 022-22888041/43

The store is right opposite the car park next to Flora Fountain - combine your trip with a visit to colonial Mumbai!

Open 10.30 am to 7.30 am every day.


  1. What a fabulous place Jules! From the architecture with the stained-glass and columns to the curated book collection. I understand that they also have poetry readings etc. Lucky you!

  2. I quite like the place too. It is a shame that I am unable to visit it often enough, even though I work at 5 min walking distance from the place, at another iconic (not historic) building, the Bombay Stock Exchange (the oldest stock exchange in Asia).

    The cafe is quite decent too, without being too imaginative in its menu. But then, I like any cafe situated inside a bookstore and vice-versa!

    1. Piyush, I am always fleeting when I am in Colaba (which is not often these days) but I must make a point to try the cafe! Thanks for visiting.

  3. How did I never visit this store? In fact I had been hunting some good coffee table books and ended up buying a few at flipkart. I am so visiting this place soon

    1. Please do...there's nothing like browsing in a 'real' bookshop...especially one as special as Kitab Khana



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