Nukshijungla S Jamir is an intense bibliophile and avid collector of books. She has spent countless hours being absorbed in the great novels and modern classics – everything from Khalid Hosseni to Toshikazu Kawaguchi, Paulo Coelho to Jojo Moyes. A good story, composed in a good book, sets her world on fire.
The 25-year old Nukshijungla has always been passionate about books which motivated her to collect them. Her home is something of a small library.
She loves to share her passion for books with others. One day, while pondering her collection, she had a realization that made her see things differently – she thought that books are supposed to be read and enjoyed and not kept in a corner after reading them – which made her realize that there may be a way.
In October of 2021, she set up an Instagram account by the name “arm.chair_travels” where she started selling pre-loved books at low prices which helped her share her passion with other bibliophiles like herself.
On being asked why she gave it that name, Ajung said, “Actually I didn’t want to give it a so obvious name like book thrift or book store having the word ‘book’ itself, so came up with arm.chair_travels. Some readers might sit comfortably in their bed to read but I believe reading is a discipline which we enjoy. So ‘arm.chair’ which means we normally sit in a chair comfortably when we read, and ‘travels’ – we travel to the land wherever the books takes us, most likely to an imaginary land but it’s as real as we live in – for the readers.”
What started out by selling her pre-loved book, she said that she now buys the books in bulk form online bookstores from outside of Nagaland “when there are sales and discounts” of which she reads the ones she’s interested in and sells the ones that don’t interest her in mint condition. She also resells the books she reads once she’s done reading them.
Ajung said that she doesn’t focus much on making a profit. She said that she didn’t start it as a business but as a small venture for the love of books. Adding that, “it’s good if it sells but even if it doesn’t, I add them to my collection so it’s a win-win for me.”
She makes it a point to keep the books as affordable as possible and doesn’t charge more than Rs 250 per book. She said that she sells them for even as low as Rs 90.
She said that there are no specific genres of books in her inventory. But she regrets that there aren’t any books that are authored by Nagas as she “can’t find dealers and also because the books are not available at a lower price.” But she hoped to find some in the future.
Talking about the response from buyers, she said that it is quite good. “Majority of the customers are from Mokokchung and Dimapur but there are others from districts like Kohima, Wokha and I even get orders from outside of the state,” she said.
With regards to her customers in Mokokchung, she noted, “It seems like the youths of Mokokchung don’t read books much.” She also said that most of the people that buy books from her are above the age of 30 expect for a few.
In conclusion, Ajung said, “the journey of arm.chair_travels has been so beautiful by the grace of God and I hope it will be still. And the fact that I’m able to connect with bibliophiles. Not only do I sell books but I’m also able to gain a better knowledge of writers or books which I have never known.”
On being asked about what’s next for arm.chair_travels, she said, “No such big plans like opening an offline store or to make it a bigger store but I plan to continue this small venture as long as I love reading,” adding that “keeping updated with books helps me maintain a strong relationship with it.”
3 thoughts on “Nukshijungla S Jamir – How her love for books turned into a small business”
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