Metal store

Crossword’s flagship store in Mumbai at Kemp’s Corner gets a makeover

“Our memory was that the space had to be very modern and international. With a big emphasis on the experience of browsing books”, explains Aakash Gupta, the new owner of the brand. What Ajay has also managed to pass on is his background in industrial design. All wisely. The wall shelves designed by him are slim and occupy less space for the eyes, practically disappear, but remain firm in sturdy metal, painted white. (I have the same shelves in my office library.) Each piece of furniture is custom designed by him. Aisle displays, instead of conventional tables, are monolithic boxes on wheels in bright colors. Gaming touches appear with the bright red reading tables and chairs and eminently Instagrammable pillar graphics. The strong accent of yellow – representing Crossword’s original identity – is still present, although it is used selectively in the store, such as on the staircase and displays.

The stepped design creates space for interesting merchandise displays.

Vihan Shah

Ajay and Aakash have created something that I hope will revive interest in bookstores and, by extension, books again. “A bookstore is one of the only pieces of evidence we have that people still think,” Jerry Seinfeld said.

Am I missing the old crossword? In part, yes. I miss the carpet, where you can stack a pile of books, sit on the floor and read. If the old Crossword left you cocooned, this one leaves you feeling refreshed. You see books in a new light.

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