Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Thursday, September 16, 2004





The British Council Library

By Shayera Moula

They celebrated their 50 year anniversary last year, renovated the whole library just a few months ago and now appears to have one of the most sophisticated and peaceful reading environment in the city.

Only members are allowed to enter The British Council Library where a student membership costs 600 Tk and a general membership costs 800 Tk (a renewal of both membership is 50 Tk less). There are four main sections within the library along with a fragment consisting of videos, both fiction and documentary.

The learning zone provides all resources for O-level/A-level students, books on Law, Politics, Medicine etc.

English Language zone, where along with books on language and literature, one can find modern fiction novels just for reading pleasure.

Business Management & IT zone is the section for all those planning to be the rich men of tomorrow. Here you will find books dealing with banking, accounting, marketing, ICTs and so on.

Lifestyle zone stores magazines (Film &Entertainment), Art/Fashion, History/culture and so on. A maximum of four books are allowed to be taken out for three weeks and while a student member can take one video home, a general member is allowed to take two for one week.

As for all the kiddies out there, there's a section called the Young learners' zone where children aged from 4-15 can discover different ways to improve their English through books & videos, educational CD-ROMs cassettes for English tapes and through play on the computer. Speaking of computers, The Cyber Zone gives you free access to the Internet for the first 30 minutes paying Tk. 20 for a subsequent hour or pro rata portion.

Bookstore Buzz

By Sabrina F Ahmad

Omni Books
The skinny: Located in Gulshan, this bookstore is a throwback on those old-fashioned libraries we see in movies. With simple, functional décor, mostly characterized by wooden shelves with ladders to access the higher shelves, and soft soothing music in the background, browsing for books here is a pleasurable experience.

Pros: Friendly customer service: these people greet you with smiles. A bargain counter where you can get secondhand books cheaply. If the books you're looking for are not available at the store, you can place orders at Amazon.com, through Omni Books for a small service charge, and they'll get the books for you.

Cons: Limited range of popular fiction. These people have a great store of non-fiction, plenty of old classics, and magazines, but not enough light reading that would interest young people. However, the collection they do have still merits a tryout.

The skinny: This high-profile bookstore (actually it's more like a book section in a bigger gift/music/home décor store) has often been called Dhaka's answer to Barnes and Nobles. With a clean, open layout, bright lighting and rows and rows of books, this is a book-lover's dream.

Pros: A comprehensive collection of books of different genres, ranging from self-help to modern fiction. A bargain section. Message boards to help you interact with other people browsing through the sections. Fun activities these guys are the ones who brought Harry Potter 5 to Bangladesh in a huge, fun-filled launching ceremony.

Cons: Prices. If you're used to the incredible bargains at Nilkhet and New Market, don't even look at the price tags on the books here. Sure, they offer you originals, and great printing quality, yada yada, but not everyone (and specially most students) can afford to be regular customers here.






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