This time we rang in the New Year in Manali. When we had last visited in Sep 2015, we promised to come back. This time seemed a little different. The season had changed. A lot of our favorite coffee shops and thrift stores were closed, Old Manali looked almost deserted. This was Dec 2016. Most of the sellers had packed their bags off to Goa.
Four days felt like a lot of time to spend in this town, especially at this time of the year. So we decided to do some serious café hopping, walk through every nook and corner of Old Manali, bike all the way to Solang valley and explore some bookstores.
Finding a good bookstore was part of the itinerary. We wanted to find a place where we could sit cozy, tucked in a corner with a book in our hands, and perusing every book, old and new. On the last day of our trip, while walking in the backstreet of Mall Road, next to the post office, we spotted Bookworm, a little bookstore, somewhat unnoticed and unexplored in the buzzing marketplace.
This discovery made us smile 🙂
We were trying to locate this store a day before. Unfortunately, it’s a holiday for them on Sundays. That we could finally find our way to this place made our day. And, it happened a few hours before we were supposed to depart from Manali.
Bookworm has a good collection of photo books on Tibetan culture, religion, travel essays, particularly on the Himalayas. They have a small, yet a good collection of old classics, fiction, and non-fiction. If you like buying postcards, you might love their pack on valleys and mountains. Yes, I did end up buying a book, whose screen adaptation by the same name is one of my favorite movies: “Wild by Cheryl Strayed”
The café culture in Manali, especially in Old Manali is great. Grab a warm cup of coffee and while away your time eating nice crusty pizzas. If you are looking for book cafes, you might be a little disappointed. Google/Trip Advisor may suggest you names like Drifter’s Inn & café (at the time of writing), Café 1947, Dylan Toasted & Roasted. But they aren’t exactly what a book café looks like. Nonetheless, these places are good for hangout, food & coffee.
When you are done with all your bike trips and hikes to the valleys, monasteries, and temples nearby, a visit to the Bookworm may lighten up your day.
This time if you are in Manali, don’t miss this place.
It is a treat for book lovers!