Are you a chennaite? Do you proudly claim yourself a bookworm? Do you love to own books, but having hard time in spending money for books in expensive shops? Does the lack of libraries hinder your reading habit? Then certainly, Moore market is the place you need to hit. It is a commercial building complex situated near the Chennai suburban railway station in park town. I can safely bet that it is one of the perfect place in Chennai to buy books at the least price.
If you expect Moore market (MM) to be filled with cool and hippy bookstores like Landmarks, Crosswords, Higgins bothams then you will be disappointed. On the contrary, MM is a gloomy mall packed with several small stores, which primarily offers old/new/pirated books with endless list of collections ranging from classics, comics, fictions, non-fictions,(auto)biographies, magazines, school/college text books……..etc. There is no fixed price for any of these books. The price purely depends on the buyers bargaining skills.
Once at a store, while searching for one of the books, my heart skipped a beat when I saw a new copy of catch-22 available for a price lesser than 1/3 rd of what I had paid for the same book in Indian plaza (online shopping). Therefore, if you are lucky, you can get MK Gandhi’s -“My Experiments with truth” (old edition) for 20/rs. Some of the books can be bought at the same price that a lending library charges for its readers. Therefore, with MM, now you can own a book at the same price you spend for borrowing!. If you don’t want to keep the book, you can always return the books to the owners and get half of the money refunded.
The average size of each bookstore is very small; hardly two or three can stand inside the shop. Nevertheless, it does not matter as long I remain patience and get a good book with reasonable price. The shopkeepers are helpful. Though they don’t look erudite, they are certainly well experienced about the books, which helps the buyers to find their choice amidst the heap of books. One of the drawbacks with MM is that most of the new releases will be available only as pirated books. These pirated books will peep out in the book stores immediately with in a week of release date (I wonder how they could do it so quickly). Unable to cease my temptation sometimes I end up buying pirated copy.
I am an avid reader and I love to own the books I read. If not Moore market, my dream of owing a library in the future would be shattered at its budding stage due to the lack of budget. Any rational mind would refuse to believe the dream of collecting thousands of books, if a single Harry potter book sucks around 700/rs from the reader’s pocket. I don’t blame the publishers, but it is impossible for those with moderate family income to buy all the books they love to read. For them, MM could be a heaven!
Though the MM stores lacks the trendy appeal, certainly it has it’s own charm which keeps it’s murky stores still thronged with book lovers like me !!!. Besides the books stores, Moore market is also famous for its aquarium & fish shops, birdcages, antiques and odd electronic items.