Friday, October 17, 2014

The Sunday Haul

Despite the regular shopkeepers keeping their shutters open on Sunday in view of the Diwali shopping spree, many of Abids’s second hand bookseller were present. It is a comforting sight to see all those books laid out on the pavement and the anticipation of finding something rare or good.
One of Paul Theroux’s titles that I am looking for is ‘Fresh Air Fiend’ that I had once found long back but, quite foolishly, had not bothered to pick up right away and hence lost it. I still haven’t found a copy of it but last Sunday at Abids I found a good copy of ‘The Happy Isles of Oceania’ that I already have in my collection. I couldn’t resist buying this second copy since it was in a heap of books selling for only twenty rupees each. The Penguin edition was in perfect condition and I bought it the moment I saw it.

Recently, I came to know about a seller of second hand books in Matunga, Mumbai. In his latest list of books that he mailed to me on my request, I found a title I was unable to find anywhere. He had a hardcover edition of ‘Disgrace’ by JM Coetzee. I ordered the book from him and he mailed to me last week. I waited a whole week for it and I got it the other day.
I was glad to see inside that the hardcover edition was one of the 2500 copies printed to celebrate the centenary of Harvill Secker, the publisher. Though the dust jacket was missing it was more than the two hundred and twenty five rupees I paid for it.

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