KARACHI: The Second Floor (T2F) launched on Saturday evening a bookstore in Karachi with the aim to provide a space for book stores and stall owners to present their books for sale.
With the launch of the bookstore, T2F has found a solution to help readers buy books and for bookstall owners to sell their collections. “The idea behind this book store is to have a shared place, where we will share our economic gains,” said Asad Alvi, who is a literary project curator at T2F. According to him, the idea is to revamp the entire bookstore.
Mr Old Books is one such bookstore that will be placing their collections in the newly launched bookstore at T2F. “Mr Old Books, the booksellers, are curating this collection,” Alvi said.
According to Alvi, readers can find books such as Kafka and Chekhov in Urdu translation at the new bookstore, while books written by Abdullah Hussain and Quratulain Hyder are available in English. Alvi was of the opinion that this will also bridge a gap between English and Urdu literature and its translation.
“From our market-based research survey, we found out that about 10 booksellers do not have a space to present their collection of good books,” Alvi claimed, while quoting their survey. “This is why we are getting rid of our old books through the Book Bazaar and by launching our T2F bookstore with this new idea.”
With books aplenty, there are not many people who have reading habits. Bookstore owners and book sellers claim that once they are gone, their store will be shutdown.
Alvi’s mantra remains ‘to gather books and gather them to sell’. The T2F and the bookstore owners have a shared economy purpose because of which, T2F will receive a percentage of the money received from the selling of books, while the book sellers, who have placed their collections in the store, will get the remaining amount.
“With the start of this service, we plan to make sure no book gets purchased for more than Rs500,” Alvi said, adding that all the books at the store are for less than Rs500. Besides, people can also place an order for a book that is not easily available in the market, he said, adding that they plan to use and develop this model. “The act of reading must not die. It should rather continue with great translations around,” Alvi said.