Asia Book House,
Chandigarh - 160017
What you see - Capital Book Depot came into being in 1956 in Sector 22 of Chandigarh. In early 1970s, it re-located to Sector 17 and today has evolved to being a classy book store. When you enter, you notice a wide, well-lit room full of books. To simplify your search, books at the store have been categorized based on genres. To your immediate right is the bill counter where the owner, Om Prakash, is often seen seated to answer queries or help find specific books. Apart from him, there are about 10 staff members too who can guide you to the right book shelf. All of them look professional in their red T-shirts that bear the name of the store, ‘Capital’.
What you get - The depot has on display all types of books but they specialize in general books, competition-related books and children’s books. There was a time when they used to keep text books for schools too but not anymore. Next to the billing counter is a rack that displays latest magazines. There were more than 25 types of magazines on display when we visited. Apart from books in English, they keep books in Punjabi and Hindi.
As you walk towards the hall (just 5-6 steps) you will see stationery items on your right hand side. This section has a sophisticated display of international brands of pens including Waterman Paris, Sheaffer and Victorinox. Apart from these, daily stationery items like notebooks, dairies, file covers and sketch books are also available. Interesting additions in this section include currency collection books, album covers and leather stationery gift items (pen stand, notepad etc. all in a transparent gift wrap).
As you move around you will see numerous books under all major categories like religion/spirituality, travel (a good volume of books on more than 50 countries), fiction, gardening, art, literature, etc. Their children’s section too is well maintained with a special window of Usborne books.
Alongside the religion/spirituality section are stairs that take you to books for competitive exams, defense and computers.
But it is not just books and stationery items that this ‘keen-on-details’ store offers. When you take the stairs to the left hand side from the entrance, you will find racks of greeting cards. They also have gift items like key chains, pocket books and slam books. Attractive gift wrappers are also available.
Though they do not provide any membership benefits, they do give discounts to regular customers. At the end of every year they have an annual sale where books are available on a discount of up to 25%.
If a certain book is not available in the store they also arrange on special request. For this, you simply have to give them some token money and leave your phone number with them.
Our verdict - The staff at Capital Book Depot is friendly and ready to help. There is a very wide range of books from several authors available here. The store has been around since a long time now and yet manages to retain its reputation of being among the best.
Anytime between – 10.30 AM – 8.30 PM (Closed on Sundays)