The business of bookshops in Thamel that had been affected by the Corona Virus pandemic for two years is gradually improving.
Book shops in Thamel are mainly targeted at foreigners and with tourist arrival plummeting following the pandemic, it severely hit their sales and business. “Business has started picking up pace recently,” said the Proprietor of Pilgrim’s Book House, Kahani Tiwari.
“Tourists from Germany, France, the US, India and other countries come to look for different kinds of books. However, the number of Nepali readers is not less compared to foreigners, said Gaurav Awasthi, sales executive at Pilgrims Book House. Although the number of books sold is not high compared to five years ago, the number of readers has increased after the Corona Virus pandemic.
According to Awasthi, Nepali readers tend to look for books on self-help, business, children, literature, drama, religion, Sadguru and Osho. Tourists look for books by foreign authors.
English translation of ‘Karnali Blues’ written by Nepali writer Buddhisagar, ‘Shirishko Phool’ by Parijat, ‘Forget Kathmandu’ by Manjushree Thapa, ‘The Guru of Love’ by Samrat Upadhyay, ‘Arresting God in Kathmandu’, ‘The Royal Ghost’ has been preferred by foreign readers. ‘Forget Kathmandu’ written by Manjushree Thapa is the most sought after Nepali book by tourists.
In Pilgrims, one can find books priced from Rs 50 to Rs 15,000.
Likewise, the Proprietor of Nepal Book House in Thamel, Ganesh Jung Karki said that foreign customers come only during certain times of the year but domestic customers are the ones who are coming throughout the year. He said that foreigners are more interested in books related to mountains and trekking in Nepal.
The Book House sells books priced from Rs 250 to Rs 25,000.
Meanwhile, Anjani Agarwal, who has been running Thamel Books for thirty-five years, deals in second-hand books. She says that her business has decreased with the start of buying and selling books online. Tourists come looking for books that are useful for hiking and the history of Nepal.