This everlasting journey to the past began in 1960. Our founder Mr. Vijay Kumar Jain is a former lawyer who’s love for historical treasures surpassed his desire to pursue Law. He is an avid reader since childhood and enjoyed broadening his horizons by imbibing information of various fields across the world. It was during this journey that he decided to make this shift of careers, which in itself was rather uncommon during the 60’s.
He spent majority of his time under the learning umbrella of his brother- Late Mr. SP Jain – who deeply studied Self-improvement & Gandhian Literature. Trips to Old Delhi in search of literary treasure were a ritual for the brothers. In addition, our founding father, travelled extensively across India in search of publishing house’s godowns for unsold stock. He later went on to also purchase private collections. Rare and out of print books, paintings and other memorabilia on the Indian Subcontinent became his forte.
He sowed the seed of the ever-growing tree that our business is today near his home, Jacobpura in Old Gurgaon. A place where he spent his childhood seemed perfect for the start of something new. A shop named after his father – Prabhu Book Service became what seemed like the centre of the universe. Scholars, researchers, and history enthusiasts from across the world travelled to his store which started looking like an expanding library. He currently owns 8,000 books in his home.
“Indira Gandhi purchased 3 books from me- one was on Churchill, another one on Parsees and a rare manuscript on pearls.” – he reminisces.
His son Deepak Jain took over and expanded Prabhu Book Service in 1990. Being an old soul, he truly cherishes the beauty in the yesteryears. He expanded the rare and out of print book business to Bollywood posters and memorabilia , picture postcards, paintings, old advertisements, camera photographs, Raja Ravi Varma prints, special editions of signed and unsigned books, and works by and on eminent personalities of India such as Gandhi, Nehru & Bose. He opened a store in Hauz Khas Village, New Delhi which still, houses some of the most pristine collectibles.
Deepak says “Nothing beats the hunt, it’s glorious to track down a book that’s been dodging you for years.” One of his most cherished collections is The Lucknow Album, which is a series of 50 photographic views of Lucknow and it’s environs.
Our store is, therefore an amalgamation of unconditional love for history and an eye for truly rare items. It is our goal to carry on the legacy of our forefathers and contribute to the conservation and preservation of someone’s present. We are delighted to share our retail collection which will be available online as well as at our store with history & art enthusiasts, for our tree grew, all because of a seed.