Iconic bookstore Manneys to shut shop

Jan 17, 2012, 06:18 IST | Vivek Sabnis

67-year-old owner of six-decade-old outlet decides to down shutters in 2 months as there's no male heir to run show

67-year-old owner of six-decade-old outlet decides to down shutters in 2 months as there's no male heir to run show

Manneys, one of the most popular book stores that stocks a large volume of reference books, novels, periodicals and encyclopaedia, has decided to down its shutters, much to the disappointment of scholars and book lovers in the city.

Coming to a full stop: Manik Mani with wife Beena

The 63-year-old  Manneys in Cantonnment. Pics/Vivek Sabnis and 
Krunal Gosavi

Manik Mani (67), the present owner of the 63-year-old store who inherited the business from his father farther VG Mani in 1970, has announced to shut down the shop as there is no male after him in the family to run the show. Mani has two daughters who are married and settled with children outside the city. 

Justifying his decision to shut down the store, Mani said that he was finding it difficult to run the business as age had caught up with him. "Now, I want to lead a retired life and spend some quality time with my family," he said.

Asked why was he reluctant to sell off the store to somebody else, he said, "We have built a trust bank with the customers over the years. I am not sure how the new owners will run my book store. Since I don't want to put the reputation of Manneys at stake, I thought it was better to shut it down," said Mani. 

Grand sale
There will be a grand sale of all the books at Manneys from January17-February 4 where customers would be offered a discount of 20 per cent on new books. Manneys is the second popular book store to go out of business after Modern Book stall on East Street shut shop six years ago. 

Asked whether growing popularity of modern book store and online mega stores like Flipkart.com had taken a toll on his business, Mani said, "Despite new age book stores becoming popular, I had an army loyal customers, most of them research scholars who would visit my shop regularly. It is a painful decision for me too, but I cannot help it."

Boasting a stock of around 50,000 books, Mani now wants to give away the priceless books at a discount. He also plans to donate some books to city libraries. Upendra Dixit, owner of 71-year-old International Book Stall at Deccan Gymkhana, was shocked after hearing about Manneys imminent closure.

 "It is shocking that Manneys is shutting down. It is an esteemed store in the city. It is a great loss to the readers and scholars. We did not expect the sudden shutting down after Modern book stall shut shop." IT professional and avid reader Shailesh Khot said, "Manneys is a great place to source rare books and reference material. It will be a great cultural loss to the city."

Celeb visitors
William Golding, a British novelist and Nobel laureate, and senior BJP leader L K Advani have visited Manneys

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