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Must-have bookish accessories from Books etc

When the bookish spirit infuses simple everyday objects, we can look forward to living a bookish lifestyle quite literally! We unravel our favourite lit-inspired accessories in a freewheeling conversation with Amir Bashir, Founder, Books etc

There is a lot of demand for literary inspired accessories and book merch. In a world where social media and television, vies for attention with books themselves, what do you believe has spurred this kind of demand? 

With the literacy levels going up in India, demand for books has gone up which has in turn led to the demand for literary accessories also going up. Another factor for growth is the increase in social media which makes it easier for customers-creators to interact with each other and help the vendors to market their products aggressively, reaching new customers.

Adapting of popular literary works for films/television/OTT platform have led to the development of related merchandise. 

However, the demand is still a fraction of what it is in the developed markets and also most of the companies selling these accessories in India are quite small -mom and pop type shops including ours!

On Books etc you have a range of categories spanning jewellery to home décor. Which of these remains more popular amongst book lovers? 

Our range in home décor which is quite wide does well as it appeals to a large audience. Apart from that, our stationery and tote bags do well. We are continuously adding to our range based on customer demand and market trends. 

What are the genres of literature that people prefer to have represented on their merchandise? Have you noticed any trends in the same? 

A lot of it is driven by YA category as that that is a popular category among the youth. After that I would say – classics as they are evergreen and they remain popular across all generations. 

Book lovers would love to have their homes and lives adorned with book merch! What are your top tips for incorporating book inspired décor in your homes and literary inspired fashion in our lives? 

Your fashion expression and home décor is an extension of your personality. The products should complement you, your style.…Do what you like and what you feel comfortable with…don’t go with what others are doing…don’t follow others blindly.

You also have a curated set of books on sale every month. What are your thoughts about the current reading trends in India? Could you tell us a bit more about the same? 

We started it recently as an experiment to increase the bouquet of our products. We want it to cater to the discerning reader and not focus on only the popular titles which everyone is selling. We are also trying to popularize Indian writers and poetry. 

During the pandemic books have played an important role in helping people remain occupied. Most of the business obviously moved online but now we slowly see people returning to the physical shops. We also see book covers and book production improve which makes the physical book more appealing to the readers now.

A bit of book merch infused in your life and surroundings just cements your love for books, and gives it another expression! And, Books etc is the right place for it! So, go ahead and choose your story you want to tell about your bookish life!

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Dhanishta Shah

Dhanishta is a Counselling Psychologist and a freelance writer. She is the Founder of Bookedforlife.