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'The Selected Book': A short documentary on Bengaluru's oldest book store

Learn more about one of namma ooru’s oldest surviving bookstore through this new documentary, which features the 92-year-old owner of Select Book Shop.

Published: 29th March 2021 03:09 AM  |   Last Updated: 29th March 2021 03:09 AM   |  A+A-

KKS Murthy in a still from the film.

KKS Murthy in a still from the film.

Express News Service

BENGALURU: Bengaluru sure has come a long way since its days of being a ‘pensioner’s paradise’. But even today, it’s possible to find hidden nooks and corners that tell a story of the city’s past. One such spot is Select Book Store on Brigade Road, which is one of the city’s oldest surviving book shops. It is also the star of city-based documentary filmmaker Adithyaa Sadashiv’s latest film, The Selected Book, which released on March 28 on his YouTube channel Vinayas Studios.

The book store was started in 1946 by KBK Rao, a lawyer by profession. In the movie, his son KKS Murthy speaks about the journey. Sadashiv reveals that it took him only a couple of informal meetings with Murthy to make this documentary. “To be honest, I had not visited the store as much as I would have liked to before the shoot. And I had met Mr Murthy only a couple of times during book fairs in the city,” says Sadashiv, who was blown away by Murthy’s ‘down to earth’ nature. He goes on to explain how the book store has been untouched by time and has stuck it out despite competition. Produced by his production house, Vinayas Studios, the film aims to capture a slice, or rather chapter, of the city’s heritage and culture. 

“The book shop is not very well-organised. You might even find cobwebs here but the place still holds warmth and welcomes bibliophiles. That was the vibe given by KBK Rao, and now Mr Murthy, who is currently 92 years old, is carrying it forward,” says the 25-year-old filmmaker. Recalling an instance, he shares how he had picked a four volume play by the playwright Anton Chekhov from the store but had no money to pay for it. Seeing his passion for the playwright, Murthy let him have the series on credit. “You don’t see this kind of generosity these days,” he says. 

Sneak peek

  • The documentary is 40-minutes long
  • Select Book Shop was started by KBK Rao in the garage of a gentleman called Robertson, whom he had met at a book auction
  • KKS Murthy worked in HAL for 18 years before joining the bookstore
  • Some of the regular visitors to the book store were authors like Ruskin Bond, who visited whenever he was in the city 
  • The documentary also shows an impromptu telephonic conversation between Mr Murthy and Ruskin Bond


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