Friday, September 13, 2013

FOUR POST FRIDAY- The Best Books Sale Haul (3/4)

This is the third post of the day. Read the other posts also.

Perhaps no one in Hyderabad so eagerly awaits the sale of second hand books by Best Books as I do. Ever since I learnt that the sale would be some time in September I have been on the edge wondering when the sale would really start because I had been told only the month and not the dates when the sale would begin. Every year Best Books guys hold at least two sales, one in December of January and the other in September. Finally, sometime in the last week of August I learnt that the sale would begin from the first of September. Short of camping in the premises of YMCA the night before I make efforts to be one of the first to check out the books on sale.

So on the first of September,which also happened to be a Sunday, and also a day before I left for Bengaluru to look for more books, I landed at the Best Books sale in the afternoon after having been to Abids. I was disappointed as hell. The collection that they had on sale was terrible. They weren't even the unsold titles from previous sales but something unbelievably bad. There wasn’t a single book on writing, not a single Dave Barry title, not one of Elmore Leonard or Robert B. Parker either but shelves and shelves of titles that I wouldn’t have taken even of offered for free. However, on looking closely and for a long time I found two books that I bought.
A long time ago I believed that to learn to write well one should read books on writing or articles/essays on writing by other famous writers. Back then I would do anything to get such a book in my hands. I read somewhere about the NYT books containing essays on writing and pestered my younger brother in the US to actually buy them and get them for me. When he came to India some time later he brought the books along. The other day at the Best Books sale I found a hard cover copy of a similar book and bought it for 150 rupees. It had two or three new essays that aren’t there in the two volumes I had.
The next find was Jorge Luis Borges’ ‘Fictions’ that contains more than half a dozen short stories by this master story teller. Sometime in the previous month I had found another book by him at Abids. These were the only books I bought at the Best Books sale. I do not think I will go there again.

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