T2F launches bookstore, hopes to revive declining book trade in Karachi – arts & culture


T2F (formerly The Second Floor) launched its bookstore-run bookstore, Mr Old Books, on Saturday night.

The two-day event kicked off at 6 p.m. on Saturday with a short video, produced by Dawn.com, of the decline in the number of old bookstores in Old Town neighborhoods. These, among others, included famous bookstores such as Thomas and Thomas at Regal Chowk at Saddar. The store owner, it was shown, has received several offers to move his establishment so that a fast food outlet can be built in his place.

Likewise, it has been shown that many bookstores have been closed either under pressure from other companies or due to a sharp drop in sales.

An interview with one of these traders revealed that people no longer visit bookstores and that if a bookseller dies, there is no one who can replace them or take responsibility for running the bookstore. This is where T2F comes in.

Speaking to Dawn, T2F Director Ellia Khan said the idea behind the bookstore launch was to provide a space for bookstore and bookstore owners to display their books.

“The whole idea is to boost the number of projects at T2F. We work closely with Mr Old Books at Boat Basin, much of the collection we have curated has been provided by them. Some books have been exchanged with Mr Old Books. They saw our collection and liked our books and in return we also received a number of new books. This is how we work together, ”she added.

Explaining the concept of a monthly book bazaar, Ms Khan said books donated to T2F by donors are displayed at the bazaar.

Currently, T2F is undergoing a major overhaul. Fiza Khatri and Asad Alvi were hired respectively to look after the art collections of the Faraar boutique and to organize, repair and standardize the bookstore. The library includes books belonging to English, Russian and Urdu literature. Urdu translations of English and Russian literature are also kept, says Asad Alvi.

From that point on, the open mic session, known as the Nakaam Ishq Society, featured poetry, songs, and quotes from those in attendance at the event.

Originally posted in Dawn, Mar 12, 2017

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