Balaji Venkataramanan: My Local Bookstore

Balaji Venkataramanan is the author of Flat-track Bullies. His local independent bookstore is Words and Worths.


Am not quite sure if all roads lead to Rome, but then all enquiries for books around the Besant Nagar area lead to Words and Worths.

This independent bookstore, which started some thirteen years ago, also sells stationery, toys and music CDs. (Yeah, I now know how they survived thirteen years.)

Like entering a temple, people have to literally walk in with their heads bowed as the shop’s a floor below the ground level.


Authors and ad agencies compete tooth and nail for a place on their famed noticeboard. The store has now started charging a fee for a space on the board. (Well, why not?)

Nizam Bhai, the affable books section in charge isn’t there today. Generally he addresses me by my book’s name, Flat-Track Bully. (Probably he’s right.)

Unlike the bookstore chains where a store’s inventory is determined at the head office, it’s all Nizam Bhai here.


The guys at the counter happily oblige my request for a photo with a book in hand.


A tiger snarls from the poster on the wall that reads ‘Critically Endangered’.

Yes, they really are, Critically endangered.

May their tribe increase …

Words & Worths Books Private Limited
No.E28, 2nd Avenue, Besant Nagar, Chennai 600090
Phone:044 2446 8659


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