Passaro is godsend to those who still believe in the old world charm of childrens books. This retail store started a year ago by you-ng parents, Karthikeyan and Veena, imports pre-owned children’s book from the UK and US. They have over 30,000 books and most of them aren’t available in India. “Our pricing is our USP. We sell our books at 20-25 per cent of the original price. And importantly we maintain them as good as new,” says Karthikeyan who previously owned an exporting business. He says most of these books are often those gifted to kids on their birthdays and often end up in flea markets, unopened.
They have categorised them according to age— 0-4, 4-8 and 8-12 years. They store everything from Mark Twain, Charles Dickens to Enid Byltons besides those deliciously colourful pop up books, music books, dictionaries and interactive books. “We manually segregate them and often throw away those that are damaged. For most parents, pricing is secondary. They are happy to get access to such books,” says Karthikeyan. Passaro also promotes its books online and through stalls at schools and apartments. According to Karthikeyan, pop-ups like Rod Cambell, Jill Murphey and fairytales are best sellers since they are not available in our country. In his own way he is trying to encourage the now vanishing reading habit. “The joy we get having a book in hand is something else. You can’t smell it on line,” laughs Karthikeyan. Interestingly the store doesn’t have comic books but he is hoping to bring in the superhero series from US soon. Passaro delivers books all over the country.
Prices range from Rs20 to Rs500. Details: facebook.com/passaroimportedbooks
— Neelima Menon