The people behind Title Waves don't mind that their rivals stock more books than they do. After all, it's about quality, not quantity, they remind us
Managing to find a 7,000 sq-ft area in Bandra to house books might have something to do with proprietor Elvis Dias' nonchalant attitude. "It didn't matter to us that we opened this store within five-minutes' walking distance from one of the biggest bookstore chains in the country," he discloses.
Pic/ Sayed Sameer Abedi
Given that Title Waves also houses a touch-screen device to help customers locate their selection, a coffee shop and comfy chairs to sink into, we can't fault him. A quick recce of the place reveals that the store does stock the most popular titles. Stephanie Meyer, Paulo Coelho and even a trilogy on Hindu god Shiva find pride of place in the various categories.
The kids' section was piled high with copies of The Princess Diaries and Famous Fives, but didn't have too many classics. We were a little disappointed on not finding the William series by Richard Crompton. Though, Elvis shared a quick lesson in marketing, disclosing that they had all the fast-moving titles, including the Harry Potter series.
Numbers game Categories include management, travel, sports, autobiographies, science, fiction, non-fiction and magazines. Shelves are numbered, as are the pillars on which the categories are displayed. "When you do a search on the computer, you will know exactly where to find the book, down to the rack and the side of the shelf as well," explains Elvis.
"The books are not stacked, but are facing the customers, so as to make it easier for them to read the titles. We believe in quality not quantity," he adds. Their self-help and philosophy sections are well stocked with the likes of Richard Bach, Will Durant, Bertrand Russel and J Krishnamurthy, beside Poelho Coelho, of course.
The pedestal near the entrance had Shoaib Akhtar's autobiography, Controversially Yours, a book on JRD Tata, The Ripple Effect and a book on Facebook Marketing. There's another pedestal further inside almost entirely dedicated to Chetan Bhagat. This time, you do the math.
The music section is limited, but we were informed that it will soon be expand to 10 times its current size on a floor below the existing one.
Despite not having a few all-time favourites, including Joseph Heller's Catch-22 or John le Carre's The Spy Who Came in From the Cold, the store still manages to impress. With ample walking space and helpful staff, they're right; they don't have too much reason to worry. And if you don't find a book there, rest assured, they will get it for you.
Top 5 book recos by the owners The Secret of The Nagas, by Amish Tripathi, Rs 295 Aleph, by Paulo Coelho, Rs 325 Quantum Healing, Exploring the Frontiers of Body/Mind Medicine, by Deepak Chopra, Rs 850 River of Smoke, by Amitav Ghosh, Rs 699 Last man in Tower, by Arvind Adiga, Rs 699