Friday, November 07, 2014

The Midweek Haul

My streak of luck with books did not end on Sunday with the finding of another copy of GV Desani’s ‘All About H Hatterr’ but continued further. On Thursday I found five more books at bookstores I visited. I was on leave on Thursday since I had to run some errands. Luckily for me, I finished the jobs by afternoon and had a couple of hours to kill. The only thing that comes to mind is to seek out the nearest second hand bookstore and check out the shelves. I was at Begumpet and the MR Bookstore was the nearest bookstore and I dived into it.
One of the titles that had been elusive so far was ‘Heart of Darkness’ by Joseph Conrad. At last I found it at the MR Bookstore and got it for a hundred rupees. The next find was another title that I had been looking for. I had read about Kate Chopin’s ‘The Awakening’ somewhere recently and had wondered if I would be able to find it here in Hyderabad at Abids. This title too was there and I bought it again for another hundred rupees.
One discovery of an author that I am rather proud of is Alistair MacLeod. A couple of years ago at a sale by Best Books on a hunch I picked up a collection of short stories titled ‘Islands’ by Alistair MacLeod. Later I found that he was a master short story seller and I regretted not buying book by him titled ‘No Great Mischief’ that was also on the shelf at the sale. One reason was that it was too expensive and also I did not want to take a chance on a writer I did not know. A couple of days later I was surprised to find another collection of short stories ‘The Lost Salt Gift of Blood’ on the pavement at Abids which I got for an unbelievable price of ten rupees. After I read this wonderful collection of short stories I regretted not buying ‘No Great Mischief’ which is the only novel that Alistair MacLeod wrote. Last Thursday I found a paperback copy of ‘No Great Mischief’ for only fifty rupees. ‘As Birds Bring Forth the Sun’ is the only title by this wonderful writer that I do not have. Wish I could find it soon.
My next halt was at another MR store beside the flyover at Punjagutta. There I found another title by an author I had come to know only recently. I had read about Jean Giono’s ‘The Harvest’ somewhere and I had wondered about finding it at Abids. I did not find ‘The Harvest’ but found another title ‘The Slaughterhouse’ that I got for a hundred rupees. Since it was turning out to be a great day for finding books I decided to check out my luck at another store though I was spending more than I had planned.

I landed at the Best Books store at Abids where I stuck gold again. Sometime last week I had bought JM Coetzee’s ‘Disgrace’ which I am yet to begin reading. I know there is a famous Indian writer who said that JM Coetzee was ‘God’ to him. I also know enough to lap up any title by Coetzee. As luck would have it, I came across ‘Waiting for the Barbarians’ at the Best Books store at Abids. But it did not come cheap and I had to shell out a hundred and fifty rupees for it.
In a couple of hours I ended up adding five more books to my ever increasing pile of books. With these five books the total number of books I have bought this year comes to 127. There’s more than a month and half for the year to end and I have no idea how many more books will get added to this total.

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