Bangalore Literature Guide - best of bookstores, libraries, authors, book clubs and cafes for readers
Top bookstores in Bangalore for readers:
- Blossoms Book House
- Gangarams Books Bureau
- The Book Hive
- Select Bookshop
Top reader-friendly cafes in Bangalore:
- Atta Galatta
- DYU Art Cafe
- Dialogues Cafe
Top libraries in Bangalore:
- My hangout library
- Just Books
- Nool library
- Mythic Society
- Eloor lending library
Top landmarks for readers in Bangalore:
- Seshadri Iyer Memorial Hall
Top literature festivals in Bangalore:
- Bangalore literature festival
- The Bengaluru Poetry Festival
- Bangalore Business Literature Festival
- Neev Literature Festival
- SheThePeopleTV Women Writers Fest
Top books based on Bangalore:
- The Cosmopolitans by Anjum Hasan
- Cut Like Wound by Anita Nair
- No Time for Goodbyes by Andaleeb Wajid
- Monkey Man by Usha KR
- The Red Carpet: Bangalore Stories by Lavanya Sankaran
Top authors based in Bangalore:
- Andaleeb Wajid
- Sudha Murthy
- Madhuri Vijay
- Rasana Atreya
- Krishna Udayasankar
If there is one thing that can give you back the Bangalore once was known for - it's the literature.
A book lover’s delight, Bangalore's inclusive, multicultural outlook invites literature enthusiasts from all corners of the planet. The city has several bookshops and cafes which host literary fests for diverse groups every year. Over the years, Bangalore has witnessed several celebrity writers and poets, from Javed Akhtar to the late Girish Karnad in reputed festivals across the city. The start-up capital of India undoubtedly has its ‘literature - quotient’ on track.
As a part of our literary guide series, we cover Bangalore's bookstores, bookish cafes, literature festivals, Bangalore-based authors and books that feature the city.
Feel free to email us for contributing to this Bangalore literary guide.
Best bookstores in Bangalore
Here are your top five go-to bookshops in Bangalore city with the best and rarest titles available:
Blossoms Book House
Established in 2001, Blossoms covers authors ranging from Enid Blyton and J.K. Rowling to the underrated Christian Jacq. You will also find shelves full of graphic novels, travel guides, dictionaries, and sheet music. While searching for the world's hidden treasures, among the store's 3,000 000 titles, do not forget to check out the second store, after you grab a bite at Matteo Coffea.
- Location: Church Street, MG Road
- Timings: 10:30 am to 10:00 pm (Weekdays); 10:00 am to 10:30 pm (Weekends)
- Website: Blossoms Book House website
- Google Maps: Learn more about Blossom Book House on Google
Gangarams Books Bureau
Classics from all across the world can be found here, along with a wealth of publications on India's varied aspects. Academic books, lifestyle, gardening, and pet care sections are also included. Their special-order service with foreign publishers has consistently been a hit, despite the location shift in 2012. The retention of the old-school charm, too, has brought in book lovers from different parts of the country.
- Location: Church Street, MG Road
- Timings: 10:00 am - 8:00 pm (Closed on Sundays)
- Website: Gangarams Book Bureau website
- Google Maps: Know more- Know more about Gangarams Books Bureau on Google
The Book Hive
Church Street is undeniably the haven for geeks. To add to the bunch of good old second-hand bookstores, we now have Bookhive (after the recent location change). A few steps behind Third Wave Coffee, this classic store boasts rare collections- like the first editions from Shakespeare's vast body of work. They also have new books in the store, though these are a bit pricey.
- Location: Church Street
- Timings: 10: 15 am to 9:00 pm (Weekdays excluding Monday); 10:00 am to 9:00 pm (Mondays); 10:00 am to 9:30 pm (Weekends)
- Website: The Book Hive website
- Google Maps: Learn more about The Book Hive on Google
Hidden amongst Koramangala’s bustling eateries, this tiny, independent bookshop is one of the city's best bookstores. Founded by Jayanti Venkat in 2011, the place is one-of-a-kind, thanks to its carefully chosen collection from all genres. You may not necessarily find a comprehensive library, but you will undoubtedly discover new authors and books that you might not have otherwise encountered. The store is often praised for housing even those books which are not found online.
- Location: Koramangala
- Timings: 11:00 am to 9:00 pm (closed on Mondays)
- Website: Bookstop! website
- Google Maps: Know more about Bookstop! on Google
Source: Times of India
The best antique bookstore in the city, Select Bookshop has often had celebrity visitors- from the likes of Ruskin Bond to the historian, Ramachandra Guha. The store, which was launched in 1945, by the lawyer-bibliophile - KBK Rao, houses rare books, which are a collector’s delight. For those who would like something unexpected, this place is a must-visit!
- Location: Brigade Road
- Timings: 11:30 am to 6:30 pm (Monday- Saturday); 11:00 am to 5:30 pm (Sundays)
- Google Maps: Know more about Select Bookshop on Google
Do you want to feature your favourite bookstore in Bangalore? Email firstname.lastname@example.org with relevant information to add.
Best cafes for readers in Bangalore
Reading a book in a cafe is one of the best experiences cherished by an avid reader. If you're in Bangalore, here are top 5 beautiful cafes that are reader-friendly:
Housing over 10,000 books in Kannada, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Hindi, and Bengali, the place is alive with creative activity, especially on weekends. One of the biggest charmers in town, Atta Galata often plays host to a varied audience- inclusive of poets, musicians, film enthusiasts, IT professionals, entrepreneurs and authors (celebrated as well as newbies), with its range of book reading and storytelling sessions, drama and film screenings. Children aren’t left behind either, as they are welcomed with various exclusive workshops. The cuisine is modest but consists of a decent number of appetisers from burgers to cutlets.
- Location: Koramangala
- Timings: Weekdays (11:00 am to 11:00 pm); Saturdays (7:00 am to 11:00 pm)
- Website: Atta Galatta website
- Google Maps: Know more about Atta Galatta on Google
DYU Art Cafe
Source: Deccan Herald
A tranquil setting, a plethora of books and a relaxed atmosphere in which to relax and read a book- Dyu Art Cafe is one of the most artistic locations, with a rustic appeal and a bookshelf that assures good time. Tucked in the alleyways of Koramangala, this stunning Portuguese-style villa, has been transformed into an open, vintage cafe, which serves some of the most delectable breakfast dishes in the neighbourhood.
- Location: Koramangala
- Timings: Monday - Sunday (10:00 am to 10:30 pm)
- Website: DYU Art Cafe website
- Google Maps: Know more about DYU art cafe on Google
A cafe, workstation, and library all rolled into one, the location is referred to as a 'social club' or a 'social experiment.' So, whether you're reading a book, chatting with a friend, enjoying a cup of coffee (and some snacks, of course), or even working (they have high-speed Wi-Fi?), all you have to pay for is the time you spend there. Dialogues, which span two Storeys (including the rooftop), exude a cheerful atmosphere that immediately makes you feel at ease. The library is air-conditioned with highchairs, bean bags, bright walls and a range of artworks.
- Locations: JP Nagar and Koramangala
- Timings: Monday - Sunday (9:30 am to 10:00 pm)
- Website: Dialogues Cafe website
- Google Maps: Know more about Dialogues Cafe on Google
The Writers Cafe + Higginbothams book store is designed purposefully, combining elements of a vintage home, such as stone walls, with the aesthetics of a modern cafe. The cafe is intended to be a meeting place for those who enjoy food and books and is made up of various rooms that can accommodate a variety of activities. The work of various artists heavily influences the aesthetic. The seating arrangement provides a diverse user experience, from a single customer to a large group.
- Location: Kalyan Nagar
- Timings: Monday- Sunday (10:30 am - 10:00 pm)
- Know more: https://goo.gl/maps/1xQ8JtF14pSbg8eX9
Source: Champaca website
A gorgeous space run by women, Champaca intends to highlight lesser-known writers and poets. Offering space for around thirty people at a time, the space brings in a picture-perfect vibe for nature, food and book lovers alike. Named after the Champaca Magnolia tree, the place is an amalgamation of a children’s library, a bookstore and a cafe. The bookstore hosts collections ranging from Amitav Ghosh’s work to the critically acclaimed cinema guru- Syd Field. The cafe’s menu consists of a selection of salads, drool-worthy appetisers and desserts. Do grab the Beetroot Tikki as soon as you hit the place! Champaca hosts book-reading and other events as well, so be sure to add this place to your bucket list, on your next trip to Bangalore.
- Location: Edward Road, Vasanth Nagar
- Timings: Tuesday- Sunday ( 11:00 am to 7:00 pm)
- Website: Champaca website
- Google Maps: Know more about Champaca on Google
Do you want to feature your favourite cafe that is reader-friendly in Bangalore? Email email@example.com with relevant information to add.
Best libraries in Bangalore for a good reading time
Like every Indian metro, Bangalore also has its share of libraries to make stories and information accessible to everyone. Here's a list of the top 5 libraries in Bangalore city you can get a membership:
My Hangout Library
Source: Buzzing Bubs
My Hangout is a community reading hot spot, a library, and an activity centre in Bellandur, Bangalore. The place hosts over 10,000 books for children and young adults. The library is warm and inviting, with decor and upholstery, which intends to provide maximum comfort. It also hosts exciting activities and classes for people of all ages. My Hangout also has an online portal, through which books can be ordered and delivered directly to a member's house.
- Location: Bellandur
- Timings: Tuesday - Friday ( 10:00 am to 8:00 pm)
- Website: My Hangout Library
- Google Maps: Know more about My Hangout Library on Google
Source: Buzzing Bubs
JustBooks is a community library chain that operates in around thirteen cities across the country. It offers book enthusiasts an enthralling reading experience with a diverse selection of titles from just about every genre. Depending on the plan you choose, you can borrow two to ten books at a time. The library offers around 70,000 publications that are available to members.
- Location: Banashankari and multiple other locations
- Timings: 10:00 am to 9:00 pm
- Website: Just Books
The Nool Library consists of a treasure trove of books. Hosting over 2,500 volumes, their ambition is to provide people with lifelong learning. They have a large assortment of magazines in addition to books. You can become a member at a minimal price by choosing one of three plans: Basic, Standard, or Premium. The subscription can also be tailored to your specific requirements.
- Location: CV Raman Nagar
- Timings: 09:00 am to 1:00 pm, 3:00 pm to 8:30 pm. Closed on Tuesdays
- Website: Nool Library
- Google Maps: know more about Nool Library on Google
As the name implies, this 100-Year-Old Library is a legendary site with many books and over 40,000 titles for every book enthusiast. The space offers books donated by Sir Hugh Daly, as well as a collection of literature titles from The Mysore Secretariat's Library. The books cannot be borrowed, but you can spend a whole day at the library, as membership is completely free.
- Location: Ambedkar Veedhi
- Timings: Tuesday - Sunday (10:00 am -5:15 pm)
- Website: Mythic Society
- Google Maps: know more about Mythic Society Library on Google
Eloor Lending Library
Founded in 1988, the Eloor Library houses over 1.5 lakh books, including fiction, biographies, business, self-help, classics, novels, science fiction, non-fiction, academic books, sports books, management journals and much more! You can join for a reasonable charge and borrow books regularly.
- Location: Infantry Road
- Timings: 10:00 am -7:00 pm
- Website: Eloor Lending Library
- Google Maps: know more about Eloor lending library on Google
Do you want to feature your favourite library or a new one has opened up worth a mention? Email firstname.lastname@example.org with relevant information to add.
Tourist landmarks for readers in Bangalore
Historical sites and landmarks are great spots for grabbing a book and reading, provided you get good weather (something that you will definitely get in Bangalore!). Here are the top 5 amazing places in Bangalore that will make the reader within you happy:
One of the oldest localities in Bangalore, which was planned in the late 1800s, Malleshwaram is the perfect place which meets all your shopping needs. As you walk down the alleys, you would surely stumble upon hundreds of bookstores. Do visit the Rainbow bookstore for a varied range.
Source: Bangalore 247
Basavanagudi is known for its nostalgic old-school charm. Famous for the large monolith carving of Nandi and the tourist hub- Bugle Rock Park, which houses 3,000 million-year-old rock formations. The area is also a hot spot for street shopping, consisting of antique jewellery and apparel by eminent designers.
Trivia for Literature Enthusiasts: Malleswaram and Basavanagudi are author RK Narayan’s favourite places in Bangalore. The streets, houses and the way-of-life, in the two areas, have been an inspiration for the fictional town Malgudi, in the 90s kids’ favourite - Malgudi Days.
With a history of over 200 years, the Lalbagh botanical garden was built under the reign of Hyder Ali and was managed by British Superintendents before Independence. It hosts a glass house, dating from 1890, which in modern times hosts two flower shows (one on Republic Day and the other on Independence Day). The garden which is home to a variety of bird and wildlife species also has a lake. History enthusiasts should keep an eye out for the rock adjoining the lake, on which the watchtower was built, during the reign of Kempegowda II.
Trivia For Literature Enthusiasts: Bangalore’s Lalbagh: A Chronicle of the Garden and the City - Suresh Jayaram
The book tells the story of a city that the author has grown up around. The place has been witness to royal visionaries, from the prowess of Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan to the modernist agendas of the Mysore State, colonial influences, botanical transactions orchestrations and the varied impacts of urbanism. It is illustrated with photographic accounts, images from family albums and archival documents, lost from public memory.
Tracing transformations of the city, with Lalbagh as its protagonist, the book considers the garden's historical and contemporary significance, as well as the largely hidden communities that care for the Bangalore we know today.
Seshadri Iyer Memorial Hall
Situated in Cubbon Park, this monument was built to honour the dewan of Mysore- K. Seshadri Iyer. The classic European-style building houses the State Central Library, which was set up in 1915. The library has rare classics, literature in several regional languages, and volumes on every possible subject, from science to management, history to religion. The library possesses around 3,14,848 books and a copy of every book published in the state since 1970. There is a separate section for people wishing to prepare for competitive tests, for journals and newspapers containing roughly 296 publications and a Braille section containing approximately 802 books.
- Location: Cubbon park
- Timings: Tuesday-Sunday (8:30 am to 7:30 pm)
Do you want to feature your favourite reading spot on the list? Email email@example.com with relevant information to add.
Best literature festivals hosted in Bangalore for readers
Literature festivals are a great platform to meet fellow avid readers and authors. Bangalore hosts many such literature festivals, and we have curated a list for you to keep track of every year!
Bangalore Literature Festival
Source: Bangalore Literature Festival website
Bookworms and bibliophiles are encouraged to soak up the winter sun in India's Garden City and meet writers from all over the world — local, national, and international, as this festival brings the world to 'Namma Bengaluru. The Festival is unique to the city and celebrates the creative energy as well as the literary diversity, bringing the best minds in the world of literature from India and beyond.
Website: Bangalore Literature Festival
The Bengaluru Poetry Festival
This is the city's only poetry-focused literary event. Sponsored by the non-profit Bengaluru Poetry Festival trust, it has had five consecutive years of success, from 2016 to 2020, gathering thousands of poetry enthusiasts each year. Over 400 poets, musicians, lyricists and performers have participated in five years of the festival's commencement and the schedule has featured individual talents, panel discussions, masterclasses and readings. The event has drawn in poets and poetry from across the country to Bangalore, with significant regional and ethnic nuances.
Website: The Bengaluru Poetry Festival
Bangalore Business Literature Festival
Source: BBLF website
The Bangalore Business Literature Fest (BBLF) arose from a desire for conversations about business novels. Business literature is a vast and ever-changing sector in the world of literature. Every year, several hundred books about business, entrepreneurship, and management are published in India, which are brimming with intriguing ideas, daring concepts, profound problems and game-changing answers. As a result, since 2015, the festival has and continues to honour the best of Indian business fiction. Some of the best authors, domain experts, thought leaders, start-up founders, and corporate executives gather in Bangalore to engage in fascinating conversations and share intriguing stories and anecdotes on business writing.
Neev Literature Festival
Source: Neev Literature Festival website
Children's literature is a relatively new development in India. For decades, India has produced excellent adult literature, and that heritage is now being extended to children's novels. However, obtaining these books remains difficult. The Neev Literature Festival commenced in 2017, while the Neev Book Award in 2018 uncovered and aimed to promote exceptional books for children about and by Indians.
Website: Neev Literature Festival
SheThePeople Women Writers Fest
SheThePeople's Women Writers Festival, is a one-day festival that focuses on authors, writers, bloggers, and editors, with feisty panellists from varied disciplines. Throughout the festival, you'll be embracing female innovation and artistic triumphs, while learning about some of India's top contemporary women authors.
Website: SheThePeople Women Writers Fest
Did we miss any literature festivals in Bangalore? Email firstname.lastname@example.org with relevant information to add.
Top books based on Bangalore
Many authors have used Bangalore and its charm as a muse for writing their stories and poems. Here's a list of best five books that feature the Bangalore vibes for you to experience:
The Cosmopolitans by Anjum Hasan
Qayenaat is a wandering, isolated figure on the outskirts of the Bangalore art scene. When renowned artist Baban Reddy, who formerly clung to each word she spoke, makes a return to the city to exhibit his latest work, her earlier desires resurface. She decides to be a wild - child at least once in her lifetime, as she is tired of being uneasy and doubtful all the time. However, an accidental act of sabotage has devastating implications, sending Qayenaat on the most unforeseen expedition of her life. The Cosmopolitans, laced with sarcastic comedy and rich with emotional insight, is a heartbreaking, dramatic story as well as an intriguing investigation of the concept of art and its purpose in our lives.
About the Author: Anjum Hasan
Cut like Wound by Anita Nair
A teenage male prostitute is murdered and burned alive in Bangalore's Shivaji Nagar neighbourhood. As deaths pile up one after the other, indicating that a serial murderer is on the loose. Inspector Borei Gowda notices an unusual pattern in the killings. As he struggles with the mid-life crisis, issues with his wife and son, an affair with an ex-girlfriend, indifference and contempt, the killer is on the hunt for his next victim.
About the Author: Anita Nair
No time for goodbyes by Andaleeb Wajid
Bangalore, 2012. Tamanna, sixteen, discovers an old Polaroid snapshot in the attic and delves into her mother's past. In 1982, Tamanna lands in her grandmother's house, where her mother appears to be younger than she is. She eventually meets her family and her mother's attractive neighbour, Manoj. Manoj's grandfather is a scientist researching time travel, but he appears to be clueless about transporting Tamanna to the present. Even as Manoj aids Tamanna in sorting out her issues, they fall deeply in love. A tale which would remind you of Back2 The Future, it is a must-read.
About the Author: Andaleeb Wajid
Monkey Man by Usha KR
The book is about four individuals who live in Bangalore but could come from anywhere within India. Shrinivas Moorthy, a senior lecturer, is constantly championing the merits of Gandhian passivity, even though the world around him has altered in ways he cannot comprehend. He doggedly keeps to tried-and-true methods, seeing any new plan proposed by his lively friend-turned-superior Jairam with disdain and uneasiness.
About the Author: Usha KR
The Red Carpet - Bangalore Stories by Lavanya Sankaran
Lavanya Sankaran's vibrant, profoundly nuanced debut collection is marked by wry wit and a delightful awareness of the friction between generations in Bangalore. Bangalore, India's Silicon Valley, is a hotbed for success and a tumultuous intersection between the present and the past. Here, American-educated professionals like Tara return home to their traditional families, their heads full of Quentin Tarantino rhetoric.'
A successful entrepreneur is shaken when his partner abruptly abandons their plan to return to America; a traditional Indian mother deftly circumvents her Western-educated daughter's opposition to marriage; a neighbourhood gossip is determined to learn what is going on behind the closed curtains of the hip young couple across the street, and a chauffeur must reconcile with his wife.
About the Author: Lavanya Sankaran
Do you know about a hidden gem read whose stories are based in Bangalore? Email email@example.com with relevant information to add.
Best authors from Bangalore
Bangalore has also minted many authors who have grown to use the pen to mark a name for themselves at a global level. Here are some noteworthy authors who were born or raised in Bangalore:
Andaleeb Wajid has fourteen published novels to her credit, including More Than Just Biryani, Asmara's Summer, and Twenty-nine Going on Thirty. 'When She Went Away', her young adult novel, was nominated for The Hindu Young World GoodBooks Award (2017). She enjoys writing about romance and food and facilitates creative writing at Nutcracker Workshops.
Know more: Andaleeb Wajid
Source: Hindustan Times
An engineering teacher/ author, Sudha Murthy started her career as a computer scientist. She is the chairperson of the Infosys Foundation and a member of the Gates Foundation's public health programmes. She has built multiple orphanages, participated in rural development activities and established 'The Murthy Classical Library of India' at Harvard University. Murthy took the brave step of introducing computer and library facilities in all Karnataka schools while teaching computer science. In 1995, she received the Rotary Club of Bangalore's "Best Teacher Award." Murthy is well known for her social efforts and literary contributions.
Know more: Sudha Murthy
Source: The New Yorker
Madhuri Vijay was born in the city of Bangalore. A recipient of the Pushcart Prize, her work has appeared in Best American Nonrequired Reading, Narrative Magazine, and Salon, among other places. Her debut novel is The Far Field.
Know more: Madhuri Vijay
Source: Indian Currents
Tell A Thousand Lies, Rasana Atreya's debut novel, has been shortlisted for the UK-based "Tibor Jones South Asia Prize." The book was a part of "English 479", taught to students at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque in 2017. Rasana is a self-publishing pioneer in India. Amazon invited her to the Kindle launch in India.
Know more: Rasana Atreya
The Aryavarta Chronicles trilogy (Govinda, Kaurava, Kurukshetra), 3, Immortal, Objects of Affection, and Beast are wonderful titles by Krishna Udayasankar. Krishna has a PhD in Strategic Management and an undergraduate law degree.
Know more: Krishna Udayasankar
Help us make this an exhaustive Bangalore Literary Guide
Do you have any recommendations for books on Bangalore, bookstores that must be on this list or favourite bookish cafes? Do comment on this blog or email firstname.lastname@example.org to feature your curation.
Here's what we cover:
- Bookstores of Bangalore
- Reader-friendly cafes in Bangalore
- Libraries of Bangalore
- Landmarks or destinations that readers can enjoy in Bangalore
- Literature festivals hosted in Bangalore
- Books themed on Bangalore
- Authors based in Bangalore
- Book Clubs of Bangalore
- Reading Zones of Bangalore
- Places to buy reading or book accessories in Bangalore
You can also check out our literary guides related to cities like Hyderabad, Kolkata, and Mumbai. If you want us to cover your city, email to email@example.com with your request.
I am an avid reader and a cinephile. I read all kinds of books, but I love collecting books related to cinema and thrillers. As a six year old, I was fascinated by Enid Blyton's Five Find-outers and Dog series, which in turn led to an obsession with Agatha Christie and Sidney Sheldon's work. I have written a few scripts for short films and currently, I am working on a novel.