Friday, June 14, 2013

The Sunday Haul

The Hyderabadi weather in June was never as pleasant as it is these days. The monsoon has begun earlier than expeted and it’s been raining almost every day since the beginning of the month. It rained quite heavily in the night last Saturday giving the impression that it would continue to rain on Sunday also. I woke up on Sunday morning hoping it wouldn’t rain later in the day. Luckily, it didn’t.

Till the previous Sunday I had bought a total of 72 books since the beginning of the year. It was considerably less than the 94 books I had bought during the whole of 2012. I had still more than six months to go and I decided I did not want to create any new records. I had unsuccessfully attempted several time in the past to put a stop to this habit of buying more books than I can read. However I couldn’t and can’t stop myself from picking up whatever good titles I happen to find at Abids. Last Sunday I ended up buying taking the total tally to 75 books after I picked up three more books.

The first book I bought was Chinua Achebe’s ‘Arrow of God’ which I bought for forty rupees. Sometime in April I had found ‘Anthills of the Savannah’ but haven’t read it yet. ‘Arrow of God’s is the final title in a trilogy with ‘Things Fall Apart’ and ‘No Longer at Ease’ being the first two titles. I’ve come across ‘Things Fall Apart’ earlier but somehow I did not feel like buying it. But now I’ve decided to buy the other two titles in the trilogy and then read all the three books one by one. However, I don’t think I’d be able to find ‘No Longer at Ease’ so easily.

After I picked up Camilla Lackberg’s ‘The Stone Cutter’ for Rs 75 I wondered if I had erred in buying another crime fiction title when I have almost a dozen of them lying with me unread. However, later I was glad to find that Lackberg is a well known writer and her books are bestsellers in the league of Stieg Larsson and Jo Nesbo. I hope I find a couple of days to read the 565 page book.

Every Sunday morning I sit in an Irani café in the neighbourhood for about an hour reading the Sunday papers and sipping chai. Last Sunday in the Sunday magazine of The New Indian Express there was a cover story about Summer Reading List of 2013 which was odd considering that summer is more or less over with the coming of the rains. Anyway, Tishani Doshi’s list of her Top 5 books included ‘Five Star Billionaire’ by Tash Aw. Somehow the unusual name stuck in my mind. At Abids I came across ‘The Harmony Silk Factory’ by Tash Aw. I bought the book for Rs 50. With this 75th book I hope to pause for a while in my book buying until I manage to at least half the number of books I buy every year. So far I’ve read only 35 books which is less than half the number of books I have bought so far this year.

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