We’ve all seen and heard of all the long lines outside liquor stores before a dry day or especially during the pandemic-induced lockdown, but seeing a queue to buy a book is quite something. ‘a little surprising.
No, we’re not talking about a popular celebrity endorsing a book or a free offer, we’re talking about a long line of people just waiting to get a book of their choice.
Well, it actually happened in Kolkata, West Bengal, which is also home to intellectuals such as Rabindranath Tagore. It may sound like a stereotype, but the people of Calcutta love to read very much and they have proven it.
A photo goes viral on the internet of people lining up outside a bookstore named Dey’s Publishing in Kolkata just to buy their favorite books.
The photo was shared on Twitter by a user named Diptakirti Chaudhary and he wrote: “Photo of the queue outside a publisher’s store in Kolkata. Every town is lining up for alcohol. Only Kolkata is in the line. queue for books.
Photo of the queue outside a publisher’s store in Calcutta.
Every town is lining up for alcohol. Only Kolkata stands in line for the books. pic.twitter.com/aSqJgMASCa
– Diptakirti Chaudhuri (@diptakirti) August 11, 2021
He mentioned that the long queue outside the store was due to Dey’s Publishing offering a 50% discount on its in-store catalog from August 11-15, calling it “Independence Day Book Bazaar”.
Internet users were all praising the people of Kolkata and the culture of reading is still very prevalent in the city. However, many have wondered why they are standing in line instead of buying a book online.
The Calcutta Book Fair was and probably continues to be a festival in its own right, matched only by the fervor of Durga Puja.
– Saurabh (@ sgupta001) August 11, 2021
This is why Bengal Waste is a highly civilized and highly industrialized model state in India.
And elect Communist and Mamata👏👏👏👏
– Sugnana🇮🇳 (@sugnanags) August 12, 2021
Books are great. Alone is a man when he is not with a book. I can literally beg for a book. My greatest treasure is the library my father gave me. A library containing over 10,000 books. I say, I might be one of the richest men.
– Rahul Khatri (@ RahulBarmer1) August 11, 2021
Before smartphones, every queue was an opportunity to befriend the person in the front and back. We are reduced to our own worlds after devices made us smarter.
– Sam (@ADPEDIKEDI) August 11, 2021
It’s nice to see young people lining up in front of the bookstore!
But this is not new or unique to one city!
– Sreenivas Bidari (@BidariSreenivas) August 12, 2021
I don’t stand in line to drink because I don’t drink. I don’t stand in line for books either. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t read. I use Amazon, Flipkart to order online. Even my neighborhood bookstore sends me a book if I call. We have just adopted new methods.
– Ashok Shetty (ಅಶೋಕ – # JaiShreeRam) 🇮🇳 (@ ashokshetty1970) August 12, 2021
And especially young people, who are repeatedly accused of being so caught up in social media that they forgot how to read books, which makes the photo even more enjoyable.
– supreme vaxinator (@sorkaridorkar) August 11, 2021
This is one of the things I really love about this city and obviously the great book fair !!!!!
– करकरे (@abhijeetkarkare) August 12, 2021
Whether it’s College Street, the International Book Fair or meeting writers at the Oxford Bookstore, this is heaven and I consider myself extremely lucky to have stood in line for the books.
– Arbind (@ arbind001) August 11, 2021
– Naman (@tohfakaboolhai) August 12, 2021
Dey’s Publishing is one of the city’s oldest bookstores and has a cult fan base.
The government in Kolkata, however, is ready to start its election campaign and recently launched “Khela Hobe”. West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee was seen dribbling a soccer ball and throwing it among the crowd at the launch event for the same campaign.