Tip for book-lovers based in Delhi, or anywhere in the NCR: drive down to the newly opened Grand Mall in Gurgaon (next to the Bristol hotel) and visit the Landmark store. It’s gorgeousity, especially the graphic novels section – bigger and more comprehensive than anyplace else I’ve seen. Four racks, including all the stuff that’s available elsewhere (the Gaimans, Moores and Frank Millers) but also hordes that isn’t – including several manga titles, many of which I hadn’t heard of.
The other sections are impressive too – saw plenty of books in the Cinema shelf that I haven’t seen in any other Delhi shop. And the display is outstanding. The sheer size of the place (and the stock), with all the shelves neatly categorised and sub-categorised, reminded me of when I first walked, open-mouthed, into London’s Foyles. But the problem – and it’s a big one – is that the pricing seems to follow its own rules. Quite a few of the international publications, especially in the Cinema and Music sections, seemed over-priced. For instance, Faber & Faber’s Lynch on Lynch had two little stickers at the back: one said $12.5 (which works out to roughly Rs 550) but the other sticker (with the shop trademark on it) said Rs 947. (I would’ve picked the book up at the dollar price without giving it a second thought.) The IBH rules didn’t seem to apply.
So no plans yet to turn my back on my favourite stores such as Midland’s, even if they don’t have a comparable variety of titles. But Landmark is certainly worth visiting just to gape at, and to generally feel miserable about. Incidentally the manager told me their second store will be at the soon-to-be-opened mall in Saket and it’ll be much bigger than the first one (60,000 sq ft to the Gurgaon one’s 24,000 sq ft). That's just five minutes from where I stay, so doubtless more miserablism will follow soon.