For a Nepali, who is in the fifties, Ratna Pustak Bhandar, would probably come to mind for book publication, distribution, and retail sale.
The history of Nepal's oldest bookshop date back to 1939 A.D., when Ram Das Shrestha started selling books, mostly religious, in a cart in Bhotahity, near Ratna Park, Kathmandu. It was called Ram Das and Sons and renamed Ratna Pustak Bhandar in 1946 A.D. after his eldest son, Ratna Prasad Shrestha.
Ratna Prasad Shrestha published the first book Bhagawat Strota, followed by Varnamala (alphabet book in Nepali and Pancha Strota and made a historical foray by laying a foundation stone of Ratna Pustak Bhandar.
This was at a time when the general citizens were deprived of knowledge by the then regime of the country. Ratna Pustak Bhandar has since been providing a wide range of books to the people by publishing, importing and distributing throughout the country.
Ratna Pustak Bhandar has also provided a platform for many aspiring writers, who are the literary figures of the nation now. Lekhnath Poudel, Bal Krishna Sama, Siddicharan Shrestha, Kedarman Byathit, Bishweshwor Prasad Koirala, Lainsingh Bangdel, Madanmani Dixit, Shanker Lamichhane, Hridayachandra Singh Pradhan, Madhav Ghimire, Satya Mohan Joshi, Dhuswan Sayami, Bhairav Aryal, Taranath Sharma, Krishna Chandra Singh Pradhan, Govinda Raj Bhattaria, Abhi Subedi, Dhrubchandra Gautam, Padmawati Singh, Maya Thakuri and many other prominent figures of Nepalese literary world were and are associated with Ratna Pustak Bhandar.
In recognition to the contribution for increasing the literacy rate of the country, Ratna Prasad Shrestha, as a founder of Ratna Pustak Bhandar, was listed 'The Century's 101 Influential Nepalese' by Himal Magazine (13 – 27 April 2000 A.D.). Likewise, PABSON (an association of Nepalese Private Schools), Hasane Samaj (Humorous Society) and Nepal Printer's Association have also awarded for the contribution to education. Similarly, for the publication of children's literature, Kavitaram Bal Sahitya Prabardan gave a special award in 2006 A.D. Ratna Pustak Bhandar was also honored with the prestigious Madan Puraskar Award on its Diamond Jubilee Anniversary.
Nepali literature has been fortunate to have writers who had the ability to express their thoughts gracefully on the page. From the early poetic brilliance of Laxmi Prasad Devkota to the modern-age wit of Krishna Prasad Parajuli, Nepali literature has an expansive proud history and has been displaying continued promise. For people of Nepal, this information might be redundant but for the world, there still seems to be a gapping appreciation left to fill. Ratna Pustak Inc was born out of this. Established in New York, we saw this opportunity to provide books from the quality we have been graced with to the people abroad.
Before we begin divulging the original story of Ratna Pustak Inc, there was ratnabooks.com. A modest website formed on a shoestring budget in 2008 A.D. It came into operation in 2011 A.D. Surprisingly, the response was overwhelming. Our site visit comprised of people familiar to the Ratna Pustak brand and also an enthusiasm of new friends we have made. We managed to cater to four continents and various countries, from the US to Japan, Australia to Norway, all in a short span. Seeing this optimism, ratnabooks turned into the new and improved Ratna Pustak Inc.
Formed on March 13, 2014, Ratna Pustak Inc. (website: http://www.ratnabook.com) is an independent branch of the renowned Ratna Pustak Bhandar, a pillar of Nepali publishing industry. Registered in New York, USA we look at ratnabook, not as a website but an online library. Yes, you might not get the new book smell or feel as being in a physical store but we strive on making it convenient for a customer as it is to browse through a library. A library has a vast array of books but finding a particular interest/book/read is easy, and our website tries to be the same. Our categories are not just basic breakdowns of categories but a multi-faceted genre breakdown, which makes it easier to find the item you seek. As in a library overwhelmed by books, you might discover something new. Our website plans to be same with no misstep. Every page you land on has something to offer; even if it is not on the particular interest you first came for.