Sarasavi Bookshop.

I remember when Sarasavi Bookshop was a messy, crowded little store in Nugegoda, always full of jostling bodies and elbows. Going in for a leisurely browse was out of the question – it was a functional sort of shop and you generally went in there for a specific purpose – unless you were an afterschool loiterer (I recall there being a pretty good selection of Archie comics back then).

A large portion of the old Sarasavi’s customers comprised of parents and schoolkids who used it as a one stop shop for all their back to school needs. This was partly because they offered a huge range of stationery but also because it was conveniently located next to the St Johns Boys School and Samudradevi Balikamahavidyala, and quite close St. Josephs and Anula Vidyalaya.

There used to be bookshelves sporadically scattered around, interspersed with greeting card stands, tall towers of coloured paper and shelf after shelf of blank notebooks. They were various teetering columns of fiction, but you’d have to squash tightly between shelves and try very hard not to knock things over while leafing through.

There was also these vitrines in the centre of the shop, arranged so as to make out a large glass square. Inside this square would be three or four members of staff, and if you wanted any of the lovely Faber Castell colours, Maped erasers or Uniball pens you’d have to peer through and play a little game with the guy seeing if he could correctly pick out the one you were pointing to.

Sarasavi Bookshop has now expanded, both across Colombo and within Nugegoda. The messy little shop in Nuge has now grown into two neat, well organized stores – one specifically for stationery and the other just for books. The stationery store remains in the original Sarasavi, and it’s much better laid out than it used to be. Buying your things is no longer a battle, and you can easily see where everything is. We discovered that they have some lovely, old ledgers, with pretty blue and red prints. These are hidden at the bottom left of the ledger section, and they’re much nicer than the new, modern ones.

The new bookshop is a five storied behemoth, towering over Samudradevi Mawatha and making it a nightmare to get up or down the road – especially at schooltime. But despite the inconvenience this shop causes, it’s actually a pretty good place. They used to have a classics section on the first floor but it seems to have been replaced with an enormous collection of those slim spined, easy to read easy to forget Mills and Boons romance novels (also easy to buy at just Rs. 200).

Like with the early Sarasavi, the books in this shop are still quite functional. They have seas of textbooks and general study aids. In terms of casual fiction reading, there isn’t too much to kindle your desire to grab a book and run home with it. In Sri Lanka, we don’t have fully comprehensive bookshops, therefore the content requires some level of curation. You can see this at the Barefoot bookshop, which has an excellent selection, displaying the kind of books you didn’t even realise you wanted to read until you come across it; the more inspirational sort, essentially.

That being said, the fourth floor of Sarasavi is quite nice. It’s darker and softer, removed from the other brightly lit floors, housing all those classics that were ousted by the Mills and Boons. This is an area you could actually spend some time in – and it has a couple of couches for you to sit down if you wanted to do so. There’s also a pretty interesting section consisting of writing on Ceylon from the 19th century. These are old books that have been reprinted recently – so the covers look tacky and pretentious, but the books themselves are actually incredibly fascinating. If you’re researching the country this could be quite useful – and better than sneezing away in a dusty archive somewhere.

Sarasavi Bookshop and it’s stationery sister are two good shops. In terms of a bookshop, this is nowhere near the international standard, but in terms of Sri Lanka it’s not so bad. And they’ve recently introduced an online ordering service which is surprisingly pretty decent.

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on whatsapp

Highlights.

Latest.

KAMU.

The Delightful Indian Cuisine at Navaratna by Taj Samudra

Navaratna is an Indian Restaurant located in Taj Samudra Colombo. Taj Samudra is a 5-star

Kamu

10 Places to Get Sushi in Colombo

By Janani Vithanage A Japanese dish most often presented as vinegared sticky rice, seafood or

Highlights Kamu Yamu Guide

An ideal dinner date spot in Colombo – Ward 7

By Shamrina Carim Are you struggling to decide where you could have a decent fancy

Kamu

Reaching new heights at Virticle by Jetwing’s rooftop bar & restaurant

We were so excited to go to the highest rooftop bar & restaurant in Colombo

Highlights Kamu

Satisfy your Kottu cravings at KottuLabs

Located in Nawala down a little lane, Kottulabs is home to the widest and most

Highlights Kamu

A flavorful journey to the North East by Paadum Meen

An ecstatically beautiful place located down Frankfort place, Bambalapitiya has caught a significant eye for

Highlights Kamu

Trending.

Savor The Salt Of The Sea At Hilton Colombo

Fresh from the seafood markets to your table Colombo, Sri Lanka – 20th June 2022 – Partake

Trending

10 Types of Sri Lankans in Petrol Queues

By Janani Vithanage These days, spending time in the petrol queue is almost every Sri

Highlights Trending

Celebrating life with Perera & Sons

by Shamrina Carim Perera & Sons holds a privileged history of catering to the most

Highlights Trending

Before You Watch… Jurassic World Dominion

By Shamrina Carim The movie On a critic of honest opinions, Jurassic World Dominion is

Trending

Treats fit for a King at Ramada Colombo this Father’s Day!

Enjoy Father's Day special Grill, Lunch, Dinner, Deliveries, and Stays… This June 19th, we all

Trending

Celebrate Father’s Day with your Super Dad at Hilton Colombo!

Looking to express your gratitude for the superhero of your household this Father’s Day? Hilton

Trending

Yamu Guide.

10 Places to Get Sushi in Colombo

By Janani Vithanage A Japanese dish most often presented as vinegared sticky rice, seafood or

Highlights Kamu Yamu Guide

The ideal skin care routine with Bio Oil

By Shanali Fernando Feeling overwhelmed, confused, and/or frustrated by the multitude of competing messages about

Highlights Yamu Guide

5 common causes of Dry Skin

The general cause of itchy, dry skin might seem like a no-brainer: It's a lack

Highlights Yamu Guide

7 Places to Watch the SL Vs. AUS ODI Matches

By Janani Vithanage Sri Lankan cricket may ot have been on its best footing over

Highlights Yamu Guide

5 Cooking Tips from Knorr

By Janani Vithanage Being a mother in today’s world is no easy task. From waking

Highlights Yamu Guide

How Bio Oil reduces scars

By Shanali Fernando Still curious about this little pink bottle of magic and what it

Highlights Yamu Guide