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Kunzum: An exclusive book store with a coffee treat

A paradise for the book lovers in the city, this new store has a cafe in its premises as well where you can curl up with your favourite books and coffee. Excerpts Q. Is it any different to design book stores than any other lifestyle store? A. In a lifestyle store the visual element is […]

A paradise for the book lovers in the city, this new store has a cafe in its premises as well where you can curl up with your favourite books and coffee.


Excerpts
Q. Is it any different to design book stores than any other lifestyle store?
A. In a lifestyle store the visual element is very prominent – merchandisers have different elements to play with to create settings that customers aspire to own, and usually end up buying several complementing items together even if they do not need them. A bookstore has only colorful spines of books and FONTS that are diverse and strive to attract the browser. We then have to create the ambience to encourage the shopper to explore – leading him/her from one section to another in the hope that they will fill their baskets with books before heading to the checkout counter.
Q. Do you think Book cafes hold any relevance in the age of digital media?
A.There are several types of customers that visit a book store – voracious readers, self-help readers, children’s books buyers, and gifters – to name a few. Each of these has access to digital media but the fundamental human desire to hold and experience a book, or any other object for that matter, remains a consistent draw. For children, the experience of selecting a book in a peaceful conducive environment can enhance the development of the brain. Warmth in any space can be added with books – and most personal spaces will have well-thumbed books that several people have read. So yes, Book cafes are still relevant.


Q. How many stores have you designed and any specifications given by the client?
A.We are all voracious readers and so book stores for us are havens. We have had the privilege of designing five bookstores so far. During the process the client has spent a lot of time brainstorming with us to create an experience for all the stakeholders – the customers, the service staff and the owners. This has given us insights into the issues that come up for staff, stocking, accessibility etc., and also brought in the experience of running a book store from the client’s perspective.
Q. Elaborate on Book cafe concepts in India?
A.The Cha Bar, was Oxford Bookstores first Book Café in Kolkata in the year 2000. This was the harbinger of book cafes – Crossword followed suit and now we have Full Circle Bookshop andKunzumas well in Delhi NCR. The best way to browse is to sip a cup of espresso! Book cafes are the meeting places for writers, aspiring writers, intellectuals and artists to exchange ideas – new authors (and established ones) get a chance to meet potential readers, be more than just a name on a book! The events that are held periodically in these locales are boosters for the sale of books. Bookstores that are crammed with books with little space to explore or browse are now opening stores which are more new age in different parts of the city.
Q. Share your and your company’s journey with us?
A.EDC Space was created by merging an architectural firm, Expressions, led by Architect Alka Sood my boss at the time, and Designboard, led by HeenaHanda, my mentor. Both have an experience of over 30 years – I joined them as partner in 2018. EDC has been published and mentioned in several industry publications, and has, in turn, created a platform for thought leadership called www.experientialleaders.com.
Our credo is: we are on a mission to be the catalysts for change within the Indian building industry through constant innovation, collaboration and accountability.

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