Independent Bookstore Feature – Pagdandi (Pune, India)

As readers, I’ve seen many of us stand by Independent Bookstores and Libraries, over certain online behemoths. One of the major reasons we do so, is to support smaller businesses who work so hard to curate their book collection and keep their customers happy by offering customised and personal service and we love them for it. But I recently found another reason to support independent booksellers even more – and that’s because a lot of them help promote literacy, inclusivity and diversity among their customers!

In this post, I would like to share the responses from Pagdandi and talk a bit about the bookstore as well 🙂

Nishita (our Interviewer): How do you handpick your collection of books?

Pagdandi: Both Neha and Vishal have different interests and likings in genres. Between them they are able to cover the gamut of classics, contemporary fiction, speculative fiction and non fiction books. Both spend hours going through the front, mid and backlists, ordering books as per their philosophy.

Nishita (our Interviewer): When and how did you decide to become a Chapter representative for Belongg Library Initiative?

Pagdandi: Neha came across a tweet by Belongg Library Initiative and expressed interest in collaborating with them to help promote inclusivity and diversity. The Belongg team was supportive and explained to them the whole process. Neha and Vishal liked that the books Belongg had represented diversity and that’s how it all started.

Nishita (our Interviewer): How can readers become members and make use of the Belongg Library collection of books from your bookstore?

Pagdandi: Currently the books are available only for reading on the premises as lending library is closed due to Covid restrictions. Hopefully the lending library will open up soon. The store otherwise is open from 10:30 am to 8:00 pm. Readers can walk in and pick up any book from the Belongg Library collection in the store, to read.

(Note: This interview was taken three months back, so will need to check with them regarding any updates with the lending library)

Reasons why I like to buy or visit Pagdandi 🙂

  • They have the best Vietnamese Iced Coffee!! (Oh did I forget to mention, they are a bookstore and a cafe ;))
  • You can order from them via Instagram! I follow their Instagram handle and if I can’t visit the store, I just send them a message on Instagram or Watsapp, pay online and that’s it! The books are delivered at my doorstep within the day!
  • They use eco friendly packaging to package and parcel their books – used newspapers, or recycled boxes, and bookmarks
  • They are my go to for books by Indian authors or historic fiction 🙂
  • Most of the times you will bump into Neha or Vishal and they are such amazing souls, its a delight having a conversation with them. I always go with the plan of just having a coffee or buying that one book, and end up returning with definitely more than one book, with no buyer’s remorse!! Now that’s called special customer service 🙂
  • Its so close to my place, I can literally cycle down there 😉 Workout + book shopping! Yay!

So, have you been to Pagdandi in Pune? If yes, tell me what you love the most about this bookstore? If not, what is your favorite local independent bookstore that you like frequenting and why? 🙂

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