Friday, January 31, 2014

The Sunday Haul

After a few spectacular gambles at Abids paid off when the unknown titles I picked up turned out to be really great titles I realized that I have got better at finding good books without really knowing they were good ones. Last Sunday at Abids I picked up two books on a similar hunch, and later when I checked online I discovered that they were indeed good titles. The first title I saw was ‘The Tears of Autumn’ by Charles McCarry that I got for only ten rupees. The seller was a new person I hadn’t seen earlier. I saw that the book looked like something good and also the blurbs at the back were pretty impressive.
Another title that I picked up on the same hunch was ‘Cal’ by Bernard MacLaverty. It was a King Penguin edition and I have enough sense to know that anything by Penguin is worth picking up without a second thought. Apart from that I also read on the cover that the book had been made into a movie starring Helen Mirren which was another reason to read it. So I picked it up. I got it for only forty rupees and after I got home and checked online I was rather thrilled to find that it was a good title.
The third and last find of Sunday was ‘India’s Unending Journey’ by Mark Tully which I did not want to miss reading. I have lined up a few such books that deal with India and its problems, like books by Sunil Khilnani, Shashi Tharoor, Pavan K Verma, Amartya Sen, MJ Akbar that I want to read one after the other and maybe try and understand their perspectives about the country’s problems. Also, I immensely impressed by Mark Tully’s writing and hence I bought the book that I got for fifty rupees.

A Pleasant Surprise
Sometime in November I had come across a copy of ‘Dakshin- Vegetarian Cuisine from South India’ by Chandra Padmanabhan. I have been harbouring dreams of learning to cook and got into the habit of picking up almost every recipe book I saw at Abids. So when I saw ‘Dakshin’ I picked it up not that I planned to cook something from it but because the cover was good and it looked like a book to have on the shelf. In the Monday’s (27-01-2014) issue of Metro Plus I was pleasantly surprised to find this book mentioned in an article on cook book writers and their books by Shonali Muthalaly. There was a picture of the author of the book- Chandra Padmanabhan who looked like she was capable of cooking any vegetarian dish under the sun. It was interesting to read how this book got published. The article is here:

On Bookshops:

Here’s something Dirk Bogarde wrote about bookshops in his article ‘My Favourite Bookshop’ that is in his book ‘For the Time Being’ which is a collection of his numerous articles, book reviews and other pieces he has written for various publication. It is a wonderful book and I am glad I had the sense to buy it when I came across it.

‘A bookshop should be a familiar place, somewhere one goes for the sheer love of books, for the smell and the feel of them, for the companionship of others who share the joy of touching, holding, reading and learning. In the supermarket booksellers with their dizzying displays, their pyramids of bestsellers, one is intimidated, constantly lost in the wealth of glittering titles, bemused by a request answered by a computer which indicates the number of copies held of the title one has asked for, the price, position on the shelf, shelf position in the shop. Tills ring, green lights flash, and buying a book becomes as simple and as uninvolving as buying a packet of envelopes.’

Every word is true.

4 comments:

Rajendra said...

I am still trying to find a bookstore in Indore. I envy you for your choice.

Vinod Ekbote said...

Too bad, Raja bhai. Come to Hyderabad.

Claire Kim said...

I really enjoy reading about your gem findings, keep them coming!

Vinod Ekbote said...

Thanks, Claire.