Walk into this shop for more than just enviromental literature
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There once was a book store called ‘Classic Books’ which was started sometime in 1985. Today, that very same book store can now be found in the midst of a drive in restaurant and a car rental/garage - with a new moniker - Earthcare Books.
The store, stocked with the a variety of books, has one main thrust - it specialises in publication and distribution of books on environmental issues and sustainable development. With focuses on Care of Natural Resources (soil, water, forests, biodiversity), Ecological Agriculture and Traditional Systems, Indigenous and other Appropriate Technologies, Non-Formal Education, Natural Health, Alternative Lifestyles, Cultures & World Views, clearly apart from what you would find in a typical bookstore! They also publish books under the Earthcare imprint.
But despite its existence for about 24 years, and its central location (10 Middleton Street, Kolkata - 700 071) few know that it exists. Indeed, the drive in restaurant is the only thing to catch the eye as you pass the spot. But as most things in Kolkata, if you have the knowledge, you know where to fing it. Earthcare Books may appear small but it’s a book lovers dream come true, as it is one of the very few shops in the city where, instead of overly commercial offerings, you can find good quality books at a price that will not empty your wallet. From children’s books to fiction, graphic novels to religious titles - even propaganda literature; you may even find those rare titles you have been searching for, among these well stocked shelves.
Mark Twain, Joel Andreas, Joseph Stiglitz, Jeffrey Smith, William Dalrymple or even Arundhati Roy, Urvashi Bhutalia or Partha Chatterjee - they're all here.Photography lovers will find something to their liking - the works of Thomas Patrick Kiernan can be found on display.
The store is owned jointly by Bharat and Vinita Mansata who are so environmentally conscious that they have even built their home above the store completely out of bamboo strip mats (locally known as darma). Their one of a kind urban home also has an organic terrace garden, complete with compost bin. The couple are also actively involved in forest regeneration along with organic farming, they are currently part owners of (what they call) a 64 acre forest farm on the foothills of Sahyadri called VanVadi. (Read more about Van Vadi) Their main aim with Earthcare Books, however, is to spread awareness about environmental issues.
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Purchase of books you will most certainly get a planet-friendly feeling as you get to carry them home in a completely Earth-friendly bag made from recycled old news papers (100% biodegradable). So pick up a good book for a good price to enjoy over some good (organic) coffee!
Thus a wide range of environmental books by authors such as Vandana Shivas, F. B. Galley, Amita Baviskars, K. R. Datye, Vasant Saberwal and Mahesh Rangarajan, Debal Deb, Lester Brown, Ramachandra Guha... to name a few. Bharat Mansata himself has penned books such as Organic Revolution, Pregnant with Poison and Ecological Visions, which are also available at the store.