Friday, September 21, 2018
Though I had another interesting five-book haul last Sunday at Abids I wasn’t happy. The reason is that since the past few months I have been bringing in hauls of five-six books on an average and now there are far too many books at home. I don’t think I will be getting enough time to read all the books I’ve bought till now and that is making me a bit depressed because there is nothing I like more than to read. The problem is that when I see books I want to buy those I like and at Abids I find many books I like and end up buying them. Last Sunday again I found five interesting titles.
A couple of minutes later with another seller I saw another book that looked really old looking at the cover. It was a copy of ‘The Sword and the Sickle’ by Mulk Raj Anand. I was excited about this copy. There was ‘KUTUB’ on the cover and when I looked inside I read that it was published by Kutub Publishers Limited, Bombay in 1955. It was the Indian edition and the original edition was published in 1942 elsewhere. By its appearance I think it is an old copy worth retaining so I bought it for forty rupees.
A long time ago I managed to get hold of a new copy of ‘Travel Writing’ by Don George when I still could not stop dreaming about travelling and writing about it. In it I had come across a list of ‘Travel Literature Classics’ made of twenty titles. Of those twenty titles I managed to find six: ‘Arabia Through the Looking Glass’ by Jonathan Raban; ‘Arabian Sands’ by Wilfred Thesiger; ‘In Patagonia’ by Bruce Chatwin; ‘A Short Walk in the Hindu Kush’ by Eric Newby, ‘Venice’ by Jan Morris, and ‘Southern Gates of Arabia’ by Freya Stark. I am constantly on the lookout for the remaining titles though it seems highly unlikely that I would find any title by Patrick Leigh-Fermor whose ‘A Time of Gifts’ is No. 17 on this list. At the bottom of this list, No. 20, is ‘The Worst Journey in the World’ by Apsley Cherry-Garrard. This is the same title I picked up last Sunday at Abids.
Friday, September 14, 2018
I do not seem to be falling short of luck at the Sunday book bazaar in Abids because last Sunday too I ended up with a good haul of six interesting titles.
Friday, September 07, 2018
Had I known it beforehand that I would be returning home with a haul of six books from Abids maybe I would have hesitated a bit before stepping out in the morning last Sunday. With all my bookshelves filled to overflowing, all available nooks and crannies stuffed with books there isn’t much space for more books yet I keep buying books every week and this is what fills me with dread. However the happiness at finding good titles is more than the dread I feel at thought of finding space to keep them at home.
Friday, August 31, 2018
The Sunday before last Sunday at Abids I had spotted a copy of ‘Pather Panchali’ on the pavements with one of the sellers. I picked it up to take a look and noticed that the copy was published by Allied Publishers and was actually in quite a good condition except that the cover page had moisture stains. Somehow I did not buy it which was quite a dumb thing to do that I realized after I got home.
Last Sunday as soon as I parked my two wheeler at Abids I decided that the first thing I’d do would be to pick up the copy of ‘Pather Panchali’. I just hoped nobody had shown interest in the book and taken it. When I reached the spot where I had seen the book I was in for a terrible shock. Not only could I spot the book I couldn’t spot the seller also. The seller himself was missing! It seems he had decided not to set up shop last Sunday.
Friday, August 24, 2018
In the collection of books that I have painstakingly managed to build over the years there are a few titles I have had multiple copies of. Three copies of ‘Ex-libris’ by Anne Fadiman, three copies of ‘All About H.Hatterr’ by GV Desani, three copies of ’84, Charing Cross Road’ by Helene Hanff, more than four copies of ‘The Elements of Style’ by Strunk & White, several copies of many Dave Barry titles and also ‘Get Shorty’ by Elmore Leonard, nearly half a dozen copies of ‘The Summing Up’ by Somerset Maugham, and more than a dozen copies of ‘On Writing’ by Stephen King which is a title I keep finding at Abids quite regularly.
Friday, August 17, 2018
The haul of books I make every Sunday at Abids is usually an interesting lot with titles I cannot find anywhere and also, sometimes, includes a surprise find. Last Sunday however I was in for a double surprise. It had rained quite heavily the previous day and the forecast was that it would continue to rain on Sunday too. Luckily it did not rain on Sunday though the sky was overcast. I came home with six books but five titles.
Next to -‘The Street of Ink’ by K. Iswara Dutt was a nice copy of ‘Grifter’s Game’ by Lawrence Block that I picked up for thirty rupees. After finding these two books I sat in the Irani café chatting with my friend over a cup of chai.
Friday, August 10, 2018
It was another ‘solo’ Sunday for me at Abids last Sunday when I had no friends by my side while foraging through the piles of books on the pavements. Being alone meant I could take my own time browsing and trying to focus on spotting titles that looked good. In the couple of hours I was at Abids I ended up with a nice haul of five interesting titles.
Friday, August 03, 2018
I am dimly aware of why I keep buying books week after week but I am finding it a bit difficult to understand why I am keeping this blog going. I don’t really relish the idea of writing the posts here as regularly as I am doing so it is not that I love to write and I also am not looking to be famous or popular with this blog. But I’ve managed to keep this blog going for eleven long years somehow. I have no idea of how long the blog will last but right now I am thinking of a short break of a couple of weeks.
Friday, July 27, 2018
This was one Sunday when all my Abids friends- Uma, Daniel and Jai seemed to come together. Though Jai did not spend much time with us, we three talked for a long time about our usual topics over chai. It just seemed like one of those old days of the past when all was well with the world.
Friday, July 20, 2018
The Essays in it are: A Valley; The Commander of Auschwitz; The Moon and Man; Sic!; Our Dreams; The Struggle for Life; Spears Become Shields; Translating Kafka; Rhyming on the Counterattack; Dear Horace; Bacteria Roulette; Among the Peaks of Manhattan; The Wine of the Borgias; Reproducing Miracles; The Man Who Flies; About Gossip; Jack London’s Buck; Adam’s Clay; The Spider’s Secret; The Dispute among German Historians; Defiance in the Ghetto; Hatching the Cobra.