The Publishing Next Industry Award 2018 for Bookstore of the Year is presented to Trilogy Library and Bookstore on this day, the 12th of January 2019 for the clear vision that drives their book selling, as also for their execution of this vision through their careful selection of titles, the activities they choose to conduct and by involving young readers and
inculcating in them reading habits at an early age.
For those who came in late, our story so far
(I cannot write brief bios, especially not our own, so proceed with this warning, dear reader…)
Born of a keen desire to engage with the world, Trilogy has been a kind of Noah’s Ark of books for us. In retrospect, it feels like we were always building our book heaven. Way before we even met each other, I was squirrelling away Moon-Face, the Three Investigators, and innumerable Disney comics, and our wildlife photographer (who has an OCD about cleaning) was neatly covering books about tigers, birds, and Sherlock Holmes.
In 2013, Meethil and I, started a consultancy for libraries. Our mission was to set up and maintain libraries, a project we kickstarted with a library of Indian wildlife books for a lodge for birders in Rajasthan. A few projects later, after curating collections for libraries and designing communication packages, The Eternal Library set up its first library and bookshop in Lower Parel, Mumbai.
We called it Trilogy, a coming together of the reader, the writer and the book. We held events there, workshops and talks, our youngest member was a few months old, our oldest came over once, had a good look through and then had books picked up by her grandchildren! We worked through the week, 10 to 8 pm, taking a break only for the Jaipur Lit Fest and the publishing seminar in Goa.
We have had some great collaborations with WSD, Bhau Daji Lad, Kahani Karnival, Godrej Culture Labs, Taj Wellington, Essar Group, Times Lit Fest, and others, and we made a lot of life-long friendships with the readers who found us. The year Trilogy turned five, a huge milestone for us, we won the best bookstore award (that’s the award citation above, in blue!!!)
In 2019, it was time to say goodbye to our arboreal, parakeet-filled oasis in Lower Parel, and we moved to Bandra (close to our real home, the one with our dog and our bed). This new home is close to the sea, with fewer trees, but all the sky you can take in. And cats. Plenty of those. We are inside the Koliwada after all.
This new Trilogy has a proper staircase which is a dream come true for me because I have only seen the Beauty and the Beast animated film with the floor to ceiling bookshelves about a million times, and I wanted a ladder, but settled for a two-level book heaven instead. So we expanded the shop, and now the library is quieter, cosier, and filled with books. Meethil is a Bandra boy and it wasn’t very hard for me to slip right into the Bandra rhythm, we even started eating out!
And then the pandemic began.
March 15, 2020, is when we closed indefinitely, not knowing that it would take TWO YEARS till we could come back. YEARS! This from working 7 days a week. Trilogy is now open for browsing, by appointment, and hopefully the *^&*$ virus will leave us alone soon. We are grateful for being able to resume meeting you again and our conversations! Honestly, it’s what helped us curate our books. We select each book you find here, in the library and the bookshop, based on what we understand you are looking for, and what might interest you. We read through catalogues, check the font size, think of readers we know, and books we know and set up a match! We are thrilled when authors visit, we are chuffed when they visit again (yup, we have some regulars y’know!), and we follow-up, argue, get tough with suppliers and always do our best to get your books to you.
We really believe in books. We have a very fierce belief in the very goodness of good books. Good books are companions, influencers, mentors, and portals. And best of all, they engage our very senses and our intellect with such ease that we can’t help but become avid companions to these books ourselves.
Here’s to the new normal. May we all find that time is kind to us, and our reading piles ever so much more manageable.
Now, what would you like to read?