Books n Beans: The Perfect Getaway
Books n Beans is one of my favorite places in Lahore. Not ‘favorite bookstore’, not favorite ‘artistic space’, but simply my favorite place. Located on Main Gurumangat Road, this bookstore is a cultural melting pot and regularly hosts a variety of events. Poetry nights, reading club meetings and stand up comedy performances are all provided a platform and supportive audience here.
In a Nutshell:
- More than a bookshop
- A platform for creative individuals
- Food is a major letdown
- Attend one of their events
- Don’t forget to check out the cafe
- Family friendly
The whole bookstore is in a basement, but it receives plenty of natural light. As soon as you enter, wide stairs lead you to the reception and bookshelves. The staircase itself is lined on both sides with shelves upon shelves of books. The selections range from Urdu classics to young adult novels to encyclopedias and academic resources. The entrance is like a treasure chest: from the outside, it may seem like a box of wood, but on the inside lie things of great value and importance. Seriously, this little basement space is an escape to another dimension for people that love to read.
Beyond the entrance, you will find sections dedicated to cooking, literature in foreign languages, history, travel, religion, politics, and children as well. I found a book I had been meaning to read on Ancient Egypt and made my way to The Elbow Room – a little café inside the bookshop designed for the comfort of the curious reader. I sat on a comfortable armchair and ordered a burger and cup of hot chocolate.
The hot chocolate was served in 5 minutes but the burger took a little longer. Unfortunately, despite being priced the same as some of the best cafes in the city, the food was simply not up to the mark. My burger was burnt and had zero jalapeno peppers despite the menu listing them as an ingredient. The hot chocolate tasted more like powdered milk than cocoa. But the truth is, none of this could dampen my spirit. Books n Beans gets me so high on literature that I would be happy to stay hungry as I leafed through books upon glorious books.
The store’s atmosphere invites you to browse, read and, once settled on a decision, purchase your favorite books. The staff leaves you alone and is in no hurry to deal with you and deliver you out of the premises. However, Books n Beans’ location has let it remain relatively obscure. The road is congested, with little or no space for parking. As a result, people turn to other bookstores to avoid the inconvenience. Nevertheless, I contest that these other places have nothing on Books n Beans and it holds its own by captivating hearts and minds every day.
Books n Beans, Gulberg III, (92)42 35754276