For avid readers, finding the perfect place to get lost in a book without any distraction is difficult these days. It is also troublesome finding original copies of books which are readable and give the satisfaction of reading. With such struggles in mind, Bengal Boi, an all-inclusive bookstore, provides readers with the perfect atmosphere to indulge in books, either in solitude or in groups.
Located behind Meena Bazar onDhanmondi 27, Bengal Boi gives a place to people of all generations to socialise over books and coffee. It is the perfect atmosphere for creative recreation and a good hiding spot for any introvert looking to have a date with a good book.
Other than passionate readers or collectors, people often opt for e-books which appear to be more convenient. To challenge that notion, the bookstore aims to bring reading hard-copy books back into trend. After all, nothing really beats feeling the actual book in your hands.
Starting from Architecture and Art books to Indian-American writers like Amitav Ghosh to mainstream writers like Humayun Ahmed and J. K. Rowling, Bengal Boi has everything in between. The genres of books range from Political Science and History to Self-help and Biographies to Gothic and Romantic novels, including classical texts and new releases. No genre is forgotten!
The bookstore is multidimensional as it provides everything that comes with reading books i.e. drinking coffee, snacks, comfortable seating areas and so on. Very thoughtful, isn't it?
Even though the place is primarily a bookstore, it also has coffee shops and open balconies to allow people to read at ease. Extra precautions are taken to make sure that readers are not distracted.
Still not convinced that Bengal Boi is the perfect place for bookworms? The bookstore does not provide Wi-Fi or allow DSLR cameras or laptops, making sure books and conversations are the main focus. Added to that, the people in the store are more than happy to recommend books. Who knows, one might even discover their next favourite author or discover a love for reading.
Bengal Boi has not overlooked Dhaka's comic community and has a unique range of graphic novels. The topmost floor of the bookstore, a haven for comic readers, offers a range of DC and Marvel comics, along with the books of Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman. However, given that this section is in memorial of Ahmed Kamal Bhuiyan, membership is required to get access, which is refundable at any time.
The children's section intends to grooming young minds and creating a dynamic, hands-on interaction with books rather than habituating children with e-books. The spacious floor and corridors also give space for children to run around and engage with others.
The hospitality of this socio-cultural establishment does not stop here. The entire building is friendly for disabled people, including the washrooms which have ramps so that there are no obstacles. Furthermore, to create a deeper sense of community, Bengal Boi arranges breakfast on weekends and public holidays.
Workshops for children and talk sessions are hosted to engage people in story writing, comic design and illustrations etc. For children, puppet design workshops are also held. The place might revolve around books, but it surely has not forgotten about artists and children!
One might wonder what sets Bengal Boi apart from everyone's go-to book-market— Nilkhet. Other than the facilities provided, the store keeps no pirated books, ensuring the legibility of the books. One is also welcome to donate or exchange old books given that the books are readable.
Bengal Boi is actively trying to bring back reading books into fashion by merging it with daily activities. This silent movement tries to remove all obstacles one might face when it comes to reading books. So, why not socialise with friends and family, or have some alone time and surround yourself with books to keep the energy flowing?
The ground floor opens daily (other than May Day and any unexpected circumstances) from 9AM and the store itself becomes accessible to the public from 12PM till 10PM.
Bengal Boi plans to launch their website to enable online purchasing from January 2020.
To know about the sessions and workshops held, keep a lookout on their Facebook page: https://facebook.com/Bengalboidhaka/