‘Rush hour’ at Eloor library in T Nagar

Chennai: It is not a ration shop or ticket booking counter, but still there is a big rush standing in queue at the busy North Boag Road, T Nagar waiting for their turn to enter into a book shop just to buy their favourite books offered at big discount.

The rush is on at Eloor Library which has announced its closure after a successful existence of over 25 years at T Nagar. Consecutive loss over the years has forced the library to wind up the show and the formidable collection of books are offered at a discount between 30 and 80 per cent to make up some consolation, sources said.

For the readers and members here, the announcement of closure jerked them, but they have started to buy books of their choice before it goes into someone’s hands.

For Deepti, Raghav, Vincent, Sakshi, all students of a city college, waiting in the queue to enter into the shop seems no trouble as they are eager to buy novels of authors like Jeffrey Archer, Jamesh Hadley Chase, Arthur Hailey, Sidney Shelton, all at discounted price at the shop.

“Yeah, we came directly from the college and not even sipped a coffee since afternoon,” said Deepti.

For those who came out successful with a bunch of books looked like winners in the crowd. ‘Yes, I bought books on fictions all within my budget as they offered flat 50 per cent discount at the store,’ said Vikranth, a youngster residing at T Nagar.

“Even at the last hour, the staff at the counter are so helpful in finding the required books and made our job easy,” he praised.

‘Eloor’ chain of book stores began its journey in Kerala during late 1970s and expanded to various parts in the country and its Chennai wing at T Nagar helped readers from across the city all these years.

It was announced that the doors will be shut by a month’s time but the way readers throng every day looks that the books offered at discount will be cleared much earlier, felt a few people standing in the queue.

The long queue at one of the busiest stretches at T Nagar also attracts the motorcyclists who quickly park the vehicles on the adjoining streets and join the queue to buy books.

After a long wait, when entered into the store in an evening hour, all ardent readers are seen searching seriously for their desired books and few were successful. Joining hands with their parents, children too were seen busy finding books on authors like Enid Blyton, Jeff Kinney, Roald Dahi in the collections.

The closure announcement also made many members of the store left in dark as they enjoyed reading world class books all these years.
‘Yes, suddenly the announcement came and I am clueless about joining another library as not many libraries with vast collection are available in the city, especially on English language,” said a woman member.


An ardent fan of philosophy
A set of somewhat smaller bookshelves filled with philosophy publications make up the walls of a makeshift enclosure. “I’m stocking up on Osho’s books,” says K Ramesh.

“I have been a member of this library for the past 23 years, and now suddenly, I become  a non-member.”

Ramesh says because of his attachment to this library, he hasn’t brought a book from a bookstore in years. An ardent fan of philosophy and light fiction, he found everything he wanted within the hallowed rows at the library, and proudly announces his membership number 1995: 1290.



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