Mumbai - Bibliophiles in Mumbai have reason to cheer as the iconic Kitab Khana bookstore reopens today on its 10th anniversary. The bookstore, gutted in fire last December, will be open from 11 am to 5 pm and will permit only 10 people inside at any given point to adhere to COVID-19 safety guidelines.
Kitab Khana is a passion project, a dream of its owners Samir and Amrita Somaiya. Their love for books and exposure to different cultures was instrumental in creating what is often referred to as “the most beautiful bookshop in Mumbai”.
To honour the legacy of Amrita Somaiya’s late father, who was the architect and interior designer of Kitab Khana, the bookstore has restored its old charm. The Somiayas are reordering and refilling the shelves to restore the collection and enrich patrons’ reading experience. The bookstore also has a small section that will stock the books that were in the store when the fire broke out but are in a good enough condition to be sold. They will be available at a discount.
Amrita Somaiya said: “Kitab Khana is a labour of love for Samir and me. The fire was devastating – we had poured our heart and soul into the store. The love, affection and support of so many people who reached out to us after the incident drove us to recreate Kitab Khana. It will continue to be an oasis of calm and provide citizens the joy of reading in an otherwise bustling city.”
Samir Somaiya added: “What started nine years ago, as a quiet haven for book lovers, has steadfastly earned its patronage. The news of the fire at our store was disturbing, but we have crossed that phase, thanks to all the people who motivated us, it’s because of them we were able to reopen the store in just a span of 3 months. At Kitab Khana we will continue promoting reading!”