How to buy books on a budget in Karachi

North, South, East or West; whatever part of the city you belong to, we have you covered

By Fawad Hasan

KARACHI: If you have a voracious nature when it comes to reading books, you may have struggled to manage the expensive hobby.

Don’t fret. We have come up with a how-to guide to the best places around the city which are a treasure trove for book lovers and light on the wallet at the same time.

Frere Hall Books fair is held every Sunday. PHOTO COURTESY: DESI WRITERS LOUNGE

1) Frere Hall Book Fair

Frere Hall is a must every Sunday for bibliophiles in Karachi. Old-books sellers setup stalls at the public place for anyone to visit. You can find a variety of books, from classics to political science, literature and children books to books on Marx – and all that at fairly cheaper rates because all books are used.

The stall that stands out the most is Hero Book Shop, whose owners will even take orders for books you’re seeking but can’t find.

Zamir Books shop in Karachi’s Urdu Bazar. PHOTO: FAWAD HASAN

2) Zamir Books at Urdu Bazar

Urdu bazaar is as old as Karachi it seems and it’s a haven for where book lovers, where you can even get your hands on banned material (Not the kind you’re thinking, or maybe). One shop in particular, Zamir Books, has its own charm. Name any book and the shop owner will dig it out from the piles and piles of books in the shop. You can also ask Zamir to personally make any book available and he will provide it within a week.

The books market opposite Baitul Mukarram Mosque in Karachi’s Hasan Square. PHOTO: FAWAD HASAN

3) Hasan Square Books Market

This is for book lovers who live in the north. The market is made up of a number of stalls in a ground opposite Baitul Mukkarram mosque near Hasan Square flyover. The market provides a pretty decent collection of famous novels, ranging from Sidney Sheldon complete works to latest Mohsin Hamid’s novels, at a cheaper rate. They also have a large selection of Urdu novels. If by chance you are too lazy or are unable to visit each stall, you can just ask for a bookseller, Abbas bhai, who has a rich knowledge of books.

Books stalls located opposite Baitul Mukkarram mosque in Karachi’s Hasan Square area. PHOTO: FAWAD HASAN

He will make sure you get what you came for and that too at surprisingly low prices.

4) Old Books Collection Shop

This is for book lovers in south. Located in Boat Basin, the shop is a two-floored warehouse where you can smell books in the air. They also sell books at relatively cheap prices.

Check a video of the shop below:

Shop video..

Posted by OLD BOOKS Collection on Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Last but not least, if you are unable to find your books at the above-mentioned markets then you can always visit websites of Liberty Books, Readings and Fabingo.

Fabingo is amazing as far as the availability of books is concerned since they also import books and deliver them to you within a month.

Check these markets and websites out and continue your love of books! We’ll leave you with the words of Jean-Paul Sarte: “All that I know about my life, it seems, I have learned in books.”

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