Café review: #Stories (Bookworms’ Library)

-Nevedetha Swaminathan, IIIrd B.Com (A&F)

Calling all bookworms and foodies in Chennai; you have a new place to hang out!

I am talking about the #Stories library-café located in K.K.Nagar. Formerly known as Bookworms’ Library, #Stories offers you the combined experience of having a quick bite to eat or a nice cup of beverage while reading a book. This place is owned and run by Mr. Gopi Sampath, and is located a little away from PSBB School.

The ambience of the place is incredibly relaxing and is extremely pleasing to the eye. The moment you step inside, you can see a beautifully decorated café, wallpapered with books and ample seating for you and your buddies.

Walk further in and you will see a door that leads you to the library. This library is home to over 35,000 books and magazines, both in English and Tamil and for all ages.

Mr. Gopi, who has been running the library since 2001, states that his main inspiration came from his visit to the US, where he had seen huge libraries and bookshops. He also wanted to prevent the slow decline of the reading habit. The idea of combining the library with the café came from his son, Seshasayee, who states that the café will be a good hangout spot and will also encourage people to come and take a look at the library.

Patrons of the library-café are usually families or students who want to enjoy a quiet and relaxed atmosphere. Many parents have also stated that adding the café has made it easier for them to bring their children along, who sit and enjoy delicious treats while the parents browse for books. Some children also accompany their parents to the library and develop their reading habit from a young age.

The library-café also has a beautifully decorated open space in the ground floor where they hold open mics, story-telling sessions etc.

This library-café is not short of innovative practices. Their tea is served in beautiful glass cups with copper spoons. The tea bag is enclosed in a cardboard sheet cut out like a flower, which opens up to reveal not only the tea bag but also a thought provoking quote. Kind of like a fortune cookie, but with tea!

For members of the library who live far away, the library-café also has a ‘Library on Wheels’ system, which is a mobile library. The van goes to different places every month on specified days and can hold about 3,000 books.

To anyone who wants to enjoy a quiet time with books or hang out with their friends in a new location, #Stories is ready to welcome you with open arms.

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