Earlier this week 4 of us visit visited the strand book fest at thebook fair “chinnaswamy stadium, Bangalore”. All of us are very active readers, we regularly purchase books and were prepared to spend good money, expecting to grab good books along with very good discounts. At the entrance we picked up one Plastic baskets each (yes the same one you pickup in the grocery store). Now I have weakness for buying books and often pickup 5-10 books on my each visit to a good bookstore. I was thinking since i will get more variety and cheaper prices, I may actually end up filling more than one Basket.

Alas, the organizers of the book fest had something else in mind, to cut the long story short I came out of the fest totally dis-appointed, with only 3 books. Almost same was the case with other 3 friends. All of us decided not come back to the fest again and also to warn our friends against it.

Here are the reasons:

  • After looking at some of the books and the prices, I realized that most books are NOT DISCOUNTED, they were being sold at prices higher than what is available in the market already
  • Most of the stock on display was HARD COVER BOOKS and soft covers/paper backs were either not to be seen or hard to locate, hard covers naturally sell at much higher price as compared to other editions
  • The variety of books was totally disappointing
  • Staff was not at all helpful to customers. I asked one staff member to find a book for me two times, he heard my request and went away with a promise to come back but (as you can guess) he never did bothered to come back. I am sure he never even looked for the book
  • During checking out when I confronted him he made some very lame excuses and gave me this attitude like “we are doing a favor to people of Bangalore by putting up this book fest, why are you asking so many questions”
  • This festival has reputation of selling books on discount, where as they clearly don’t sell it cheaper than what is already available in the market
  • They are just taking advantage of the reputation and fooling the customers.

In our case since we had come out in a mood to buy the books, we drove to our favorite book store BLOSSOMS, these guys are too good, they give 20% flat discount and have 3 floors packed of books. The variety of books here is 2-3 time more as compared that Strand fest had. We also compared prices for some of the books and that confirmed the higher prices at Strand fest.

Yes all of us ended up buying a good 20+ books of our choice at a good price, from Blossoms! I am currently reading the autobiography of Marlon Brando …

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