When I moved to Lahore, it was very baffling for me to see almost all markets closed on Sundays. Unless your stop is one of the few fancy stores that remain open, shopping trips have to be planned around the work schedule on weekdays. While there is an obvious downside to this tradition, it comes with its own perks! The biggest one is being free to explore the enchanting streets and gardens of this city, and the second biggest being the numerous old book stalls put up in front of those closed shops.
The Sunday Bazaar closest to my college is the one on Mall Road (it feels just so unnatural to call it ‘Mall’ instead of ‘Maal’!) right in front of Pak Tea House. Caffeine and books right at the same spot–that, my friends, is what you call a good Sunday!
You have to keep your eyes wide open in this place. Anywhere in the unending lines of books, your favorite volume can be waiting for you to take it at a real bargain.
Some days are better than others and you can find many famous books being sold for very cheap. But on other days, you have to search patiently till you find what you’re looking for. One thing is guaranteed, with some persistence, you can find anything here…
Told ya! Anything.
Sometimes, I pick up a random book and read inscriptions made by previous owners. There was a whole letter in this one, asking for a raise.
On my last visit, I found a really cool book and the guy at the stall asked for a 1000 Rupees for it. But I ain’t no noob, you guys! B) The rule is, you give them half of what they ask for. And so I told him I can pay only 500, to which he readily agreed and packed my book. This left me thinking that I should a have gone for 350.
This tells you why you should polish your haggling skills before you visit!
Another tip, don’t get too excited if you find a good book. The amount of excitement you show is directly proportional to the price they would quote.
And it’s not just the books that are great. The buildings on this service lane are just as beautiful.
I wish they get a renovation.
If you ever visit Lahore (which you totally should!), don’t forget to stop by this bibliophile’s heaven!
Till next time!