Gangtok’s Rachna Bookstore wins the best bookstore in India at Hyderabad Literary Festival
Rachna Bookstore is a landmark location in Gangtok, has become a meeting point for literary and creative minds, fuelling Sikkim’s young to take up reading books and indulging in art as a passion. It comes as no surprise that it would win the Best Bookstore in the country at the Hyderabad Literary Festival which was organized by Food for Thought Foundation on January 26.
The festival saw speakers who discussed environmentalism and modernism, with various sessions devoted to creating and showcasing different forms of art. The main objective of the organization is to promote those who encourage the habit of reading albeit not only in the usual places like educational institutions or libraries. Another notable venture by the foundation is the Indian Reading Olympiad which was started in 2018 where performers, curators and bookshops are felicitated for their work and contribution to society.
The bookstore was chosen after a careful selection process, which involved answering a heavy questionnaire that looked into the events that were taken up by Rachna. These activities curated by Rachna has always found an important place in the calendars of those who follow Sikkim’s contemporary art and literary culture.
Raman Shrestha, the owner of Rachna bookstore has been running it since he was 25 years old. His decision stems from a passion for books, where making enormous sums of money isn’t the primary objective but rather, the experience of carefully selecting books for readers and hosting events that provoke creative thinking is.
He has also been part of many literature festivals, beginning from the 2013 Goa Literature Festival where he spoke about writings from the hills along with authors Chetan Raj Shrestha and Prajwal Parajuly also being part of the panel, to being invited twice to the Jaipur Literature Festival.
One of Rachna’s most popular publications is ‘Opening the Hidden Land: State Formation and the Construction of Sikkimese History’, written by Saul Mullard in 2011.