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December , 2017
Monday

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KotiBookshopi

The lecturers are adamant that the students carry them to every class, the students would do anything to get away from them and they, in this tussle, lie in the libraries and shops with layers of dust settled on them. What are being referred to here? What else, but the nemesis of every student and the survival secret of lecturers: THE TEXTBOOKS. Come July, and it’s that time of the year again when students are forced to give into the lecturers demands and throng to the bookshops for the best possible (used, cheapest) deals on their textbooks. “The lecturers in my college insist on carrying textbooks for all the practical subjects. Some of them don’t let us enter the classes if we don’t have them with us. Right now, the only option is to get them somehow and take them to college. All of this makes me feel like a school kid all over again”, says Preeti, a 2nd year B.com student, rather unhappily.

What do students generally do when it comes to textbooks for a new semester or academic year? Apparently, buying comes pretty down the list. Not only because sometimes the books are very expensive, but also because there are a lot of options available. “What are the seniors in college for? We let them rag us in the beginning, there has to be something that we get in return. So by the end of it, we make sure we get the textbooks from them. Some of my books that I have now originally belonged to seniors who’ve passed out of college three ago”, says Ritwik, a final year graduation students, who thanks OU for no substantial change in the syllabus.  The libraries are another source of textbooks for students. “For subjects that aren’t very important, we generally borrow books from the library and renew them whenever needed. Buying them doesn’t make sense because we hardly use them. Books from the library work out pretty well”, says Manasa, an engineering student. And there are a few students, who don’t bother buying textbooks at all. They somehow manage until the end of the year and buy guides and all-in-ones right before the exams.

Buy them all!

Buy them all! Credit:Rouge Wave

But there also are people who prefer buying books to borrowing them. “I like buying my books first hand because most of the second hand books have doodles and scribbles all over them and are in pathetic conditions. I like my books neat and I prefer keeping my books with me for future references. I can make my notes in the first hand books and handle them the way I want to”, says Suma, who is currently preparing for her CA exams. For people like Suma, Hyderabad has a lot to offer with Koti, being the numero uno destination for students of all ages. All sorts of books are available here, from first hand books, to books on rent and second hand books. The books that the shops deal with include school (SSC, CBSE, and ICSE), graduation (Arts, Commerce, Engineering and Medicine), post graduation and books for competitive exams.

Inside the MCH Complex

Inside the MCH Complex, Koti Credit:Rouge Wave

Known as ‘the place to be’ for books for over five decades, the roads of Koti were always filled with books of all kind and were flocked by people of all types. But in November 2006, the government issued orders to the book vendors to vacate the pavements in Koti. The GHMC had accommodated about 40 shops in the basement of MCH Walkway beside Andhra Bank and shifted another 70 to the MCH complex at Sultan Bazaar. The books at these places are generally either sold on rental basis or second hand. “I buy most of my books from Koti because I get a great deal on them”, says Abhishek, a post graduate student. “Because at the end of the year when I return them back, I get about 60% of the money back which I spend on books again. It’s like an investment and if you generally bargain a little, you get the books at a discount too. And it always helps if you’ve been coming to these shops for as long as I have”, he adds. For people looking for second hand books, the prices are generally reduced between 30%-35%.

Many of the shopkeepers have been in the business for a long time now, and say that the books are in demand for most of the year. Surprisingly, it’s during the exams, that the sales take a dip. The shift has affected them in more ways than one. Not only do they have to pay a monthly rent to MCH aside from the initial lump sum, but they complain that, not a lot of people know where the shops are relocated to and that has hit their business pretty hard. “One of the other problems that a lot of us have to face, especially the ones in the subway, is the flooding of the place during the monsoons. The location of the place is also such that it discourages a lot people from coming in”, laments a shopkeeper.

Bookshops at Secunderabad.

Bookshops at Secunderabad. Credit:Rouge Wave

For people, who are looking for places besides Koti, Secunderabad and Abids are the places to go to. While they may not match Koti in the enormity, they nevertheless serve the purpose of the students. Rajalaxmi Book Point and Shraddha Book Depot, situated near Rathifile Bus Stop, are the places to be at in Secunderabad. “I prefer going to Secunderabad for my books because there really isn’t any difference in the prices between Koti and here and also because it’s closer to my place. The best part about these shops is that they’re open on almost everyday of the year and up until 9: OO pm”, adds Preeti, when asked where she purchases her books from. And for those, who thought that the Sunday Book Bazaar at Abids was meant only for novels, magazines and coffee-table books, they’re in for a big surprise. If teamed with the right amount of patience and free time, most of the textbooks can be found here and bought at second hand prices. The series of bookstalls start off from Hollywood Shoes and stretch until the GPO.

Koti, Secunderabad and Abids have witnessed the changes not only in the state of the books but also of the students over many decades. Whenever the need arises, students all over the city swear by to find the exact books that they need at these places. So, the next time you’re in need of a textbook or on a look out for a rare reference book, visit one of the three places and be sure to find it!

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