Friday, October 03, 2014

The Sunday Haul

Neither festival nor anything seems to stop the second hand bookseller from setting up shop in Abids on Sundays as they have been doing since decades. They do it because they know those who love books (and there are many of them here in Hyderabad) come looking for them. The Sunday before the previous one some of the regular shopkeepers had opened their shops which meant the booksellers had to spread their wares in other parts. This Sunday more shops opened but the book sellers simply went a bit further away with their books on the pavement. I was there last Sunday but without the company of Uma and Shrikant which meant I did not have chai at our usual café. It was a solo hunt but it made me more focused which resulted in a haul of three books.
The first find was Dave Barry’s ‘Bad Habits’ that had been there on the pavements since long. I picked it up though I have another copy of this title. However, it did not come cheap and I had to pay eighty rupees for it. I am always reading one or the other title of Dave Barry to savor his crazy brand of humor which never goes stale.
The second find was a title by a writer I discovered only recently. I found Charles McCarry’s ‘The Last Supper’ in a heap of books selling for only twenty rupees. The bottom of the cover was in shreds and most of the title was also gone. However the author’s name was what caught my eye and thus I found this new title. I already have three of his titles one of which I am currently reading- The Better Angels- which isn’t as good as the first one I had read, which was ‘The Tears of Autumn.’ There is another of his titles that I had found recently- The Miernik Dossier- that I have yet to read.

The third find was not at Abids, but at a seller in Chikkadpally. I found Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s ‘The Purple Hibiscus’ that I bought at a steep price. I got it for a hundred rupees which I think is reasonable enough given that the book was in a good condition and looked almost new. This is the second title by this Nigerian author that I have, the first being ‘That Thing Around Your Neck’ that I had found long ago and have also not found the time to read. At the back of TPH is a list of her ten favorite books and one of the titles is Amit Chaudhuri’s ‘A Strange and Sublime Address’ which I haven’t read. There were only two other titles in that list that I have read- ‘One Hundred Years of Solitude’ by Marquez, and ‘Arrow of God’ by Chinua Achebe who happens to be one of her favorite writers and her hero.

With these three books my haul of books till date in this year is 117.

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