Here is a list of the best bookstores in Goa.
For some of us, nothing beats the pleasure of an afternoon spent in the quiet corners of a library or the bookstore. Just the feeling of being surrounded by shelves of literature, stories panning centuries enveloping you in a sleepy, dreamy embrace, can be quite the tease.
Ever since I Moved to Goa I have been on a hunt for cool things to do beyond the beaches. Don’t get me wrong, I can be quite the beach bum. But one of my favourite things to do at the beach is to settle down with a favourite book. So I started looking around, asking around for the best book stores in Goa. I didn’t expect the treasure trove that I unearthed on this quest.
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Book stores that deliver on cycles, bookstores which have a publishing house of its own, another hosts a favourite book club of the neighbourhood, another one sells/lends only second-hand books: the list is endless. What began as a curious afternoon exercise spanned over weeks of visiting and researching these wonderful temples of books in Goa.
nostalgia/nɒˈstaldʒə/noun | a wistful or excessively sentimental yearning for a return to or of some past period
Best bookstores in Goa |Dogears, Margaon
In the busy town of Margaon, once you have crossed the railway station, the important administrative buildings and the brightly hued Portuguese houses, you will find Dogears, cosily tucked inside a leafy lane. A passion project of Leonard and Queenie Fernandes, it started in 2006 as an online book store, before online was cool! Their initial collection included Children’s books and then they expanded with a prized collection of Konkani literature. In 2007 they also started their publishing house, Cinnamon Teal which specialises on self-publishing and translation projects. They host events such open mic nights for poets, book swapping and book readings too. While there are bigger stores in Margaon, this one is for the book lovers, who like the warm fuzzy feeling when you enter a bookstore. Add to that a stellar collection of books and you have yourself a sheer winner!
Address: Shop No. SH-1, Adolfo Mansion, Bernardo da Costa Road, Near Dr Menezes Nursing Home, Margao, Goa 403601
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Best Bookstores in Goa |Literati bookshop and Cafe, Calangute
This book store is straight out of a vintage dream. Set in a Portuguese house, it has two rooms given out as a book store, One room houses the new books, which range from Rushdie to poetry from Ben Okri to the Emily Bronte and the interior parlour is a treasure trove of second hands. You never know what you will find. The rooms are kitschy and cosy and will make for a perfect afternoon hideout, lost in the verses of your choice. Once you have taken your time to choose your literature, you can always step out to the café in the garden to get a cup of coffee and cake. A trip to Literati will take you back in time, to the same feeling when the summer holidays were about to begin.
Address: E/1-282, Gauravaddo, Calangute, Goa 403516
Best Bookstores in Goa |Manali Book store, Anjuna
Set in the busy Starco Junction near Anjuna beach, there is always something happening around Manali book store. The street is home to 3 hostels and is a short walk away from the beach; shawarmas are being served and Atm lines are long. But amidst all this, you climb up the stairs and reach Manali. Bike hire and a currency conversion board might put you off, but once you are in you will be amazed by the range of books that they keep. Right from travel literature of Paul Theroux to Elizabeth Gilbert, to the usual Shantaram paperbacks. And there, right in the middle is an aisle of Amar Chitra Katha. (Speaking of summer holidays). Colourful illustrations of Mahabharata will take you back years and it was quite the highlight of my time in this cute little book shop.
Address: Anjuna Mapusa Rd, Behind Starco, Dmello Vaddo, Anjuna, Goa 403509
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Best Bookstores in Goa |Lotuseaters, Anjuna
The ‘lotus eaters’ are referred to a group of unique island-dwellers in Greek mythology said to eat the lotus flower and thus live in a perpetual state of bliss and apathy. Arushi and Sameer describe it as being in a state of dreamy indolent ease, indifferent to the busy world. This bookstore reflects every bit of literature that it refers to. A love child of Arushi and Sameer who moved to Goa in 2011 and set up shop here amidst surfboards and didgeridoos. Off the main road in a red sandstone house, amidst vines and small pools is set this languorous second-hand book store. A cosy sitting area set amidst rows and rows of books, most of which belonged to them when they moved from Delhi. In due time they have acquired some more. They sell only second-hand books and give you back 50% when you return the book. They had a couple come in this afternoon who took a bunch of books for a long train journey ahead. While they knew they would not be returning these books here, they said they will probably give it away at Oxfam once they are back home in London. If you are looking to spend a lazy Sunday somewhere, surrounded by books, dreaming of faraway places, this would be a good bet. Go see for yourself and tell me if it doesn’t make you want to be a lotus-eater yourself.
Address: 224, Zor Waddo, Anjuna, Bardez, Goa, 403509
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Best Bookstores in Goa |Singbal’s Bookstore, Panjim
A bright coloured building is home to the oldest bookstore in Goa. Singbal’s is located right opposite the Immaculate Church of Panjim at a busy 5-point intersection near the Tourist Information Office. This bookstore opened shop in 1936 and even today is oft visited by locals for their daily newspaper fix. Apart from newspapers, it also houses an eclectic collection of magazines, books about Goa and travel. If you are in Panjim, visit Singbal’s for its iconic status as the oldest bookstore, its architecture and its collection of books, you never know what you might find. The bright blue coloured building gives you a sneak peek into the local life here and makes it a good addition to your trip to Panjim.
Address: Praça da Igreja, Church Square, Altinho, Panaji, Goa 403521
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Best Bookstores in Goa |Bookworm, Panjim:
It’s the thought of a library on-the-go, that really got me enthused about Bookworm, Panjim. When I got in touch with the team at Bookworm I was excited to be informed that that is just a tip of the iceberg. They have such amazing programmes running with a goal to provide a rich reading resource to children of all ages and abilities. The Library also holds workshops and events through the year, reinforcing the idea of the Library as an open and creative space for all. Located in the colourful lanes of Mala, in Fountainhas Panjim, it is an oasis for book lovers.
They have the Mobile Outreach Programme (MOP) which takes books to children and facilitates library sessions in communities which have no immediate access to a library due to various. The Libraries in School Programme provides a library experience and resources to schools that do not have library facilities. Every week, the Bookworm team facilitates library sessions in 17 schools across Goa, reaching 2282 children. Bookworm also offers a Library Educators Certificate Course, a seven-month course, open to all educators as a professional development programme. Apart from this, they organize walks and regular gatherings to their goal forward. If you are in Panjim, spend some time with the awesome folks at Bookworm.
Address: Bookworm Library, House no.127 (Old Saraswati Vidyalaya), Mala, Fountainhas, Panaji, Goa 403001
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Hope you liked the read and if you can think of some more book stores please send me a note, I would love to add to this colourful list.