I visited Ganesha bookstore a few days ago. In Balinese Hinduism, Ganesha is the god of knowledge. It was located in Ubud, a famous tourist destination in Bali island. It was not a big shop. The size of the bookstore was around 5 meters x 10 meters. Most of the books that were displayed on the shelves were written by foreign authors from Europe, Australia or North America about Bali and Indonesia. Ganesha bookstore also had a large collection of novels. One of them was Eat, Pray, Love (EPL) by Elizabeth Gilberth. The novel had been remade into a movie with the same name starred by Julia Roberts.
Bali is one of the provinces of Indonesia. Most of its inhabitants speak Bahasa Indonesia. However, the owners of the bookstore know that their main customers are not Indonesian but foreign tourists that come from as far as Amsterdam, Tokyo and Sydney. These customers need books about Indonesia or Bali that are written in English or their languages. In addition to books, other merchandises which it offers are newspapers, maps, postcards, and some traditional music instruments made of bamboo.
While in the Ganesha bookstore, I bought a map of Papua and Maluku islands. I really need the map when I have to guide tourists in Manokwari regency on bird watching and snorkeling tours. I was a little bit surprised to find out that the bookstore does not have POS (Point of Sales) system. It was manned by two women, one at the cashier table handling the transactions and one supervising the customers. The staff at the bookstore cashier only used a small calculator to calculate all of the transactions which would later be recorded on a book manually.
Ganesha bookstore in Ubud town of Bali island was quite busy during the day. I saw some European visitors. There was a Japanese couple there too. It was a nice bookstore. I recommend it to anybody who wants to visit Ubud – the culture center of Bali. So, next time when you go to Bali, don’t forget to visit the bookshop. By Charles Roring.