We have to go back 60 years to trace the origins of the once thriving secondhand book business in Maradana.
Chandani Kirinde tells the story
The secondhand book shops nestled away at one end of D.R.Wijewardene Mawatha in Colombo have been a favourite haunt for book lovers over the years. While book lovers are seen regularly rummaging through stacks of used books placed in every available corner of these shops, not many are aware that there is an interesting story about how this secondhand book business started nearly 60 years ago.
The story begins with the resourcefulness of one man, Premadasa Weerarathna, who, after he was left disabled while serving in the Royal Navy, chose to start a secondhand book business, instead of living a life of solitude after his accident. Today it is his relatives who carry on the business since Premadasa passed away in the mid-1980s but they still remember him endearingly when asked about how they began selling books.