Friday, November 28, 2014

The Sunday Haul

Those who know me and my habit of going to Abids every Sunday looking for books sometimes ask me to search for books they are unable to find elsewhere. They either want the book at a cheaper rate or it isn’t available so easily in the normal bookstores. Then there are some people I pick up books for at Abids without being told to. One such person is my kid who devours comics especially those of X-Men, Avengers, Spiderman, Superman and so on, of which he has an impressive collection. Needless to say I’ve picked up most of them when he isn’t able to come along with me. These comics are action oriented and so far I haven’t been able to find titles of Asterix, and also Calvin & Hobbes cheap at Abids.
Last Sunday however I found a Calvin & Hobbes title that was in good condition. Though 300/- was penciled in a corner on the inside cover I managed to bargain and got it for fifty rupees only. Even I was amazed when the seller agreed to the price I quoted.
The next find was at Abds and it was an old favorite- The Summing Up by Somerset Maugham. I found an edition different from all the ones I had picked up so far. I might have found and bought at least a dozen copies of this priceless title t hat I have given to friends who evinced interest in writing. I got this title for fifty rupees.
Another find was Truman Capote’s ‘Breakfast at Tiffanys and…’ that I saw immediately after I found The Summing Up. It was in good condition and I found that it was a 50th Anniversary Edition so I picked it up for thirty rupees.
At another seller I found a Robert B. Parker title that wasn’t one in the Spenser series. It was a Western called ‘Appaloosa’ which seemed to have been made into a movie also. The cover was impressive and I thought I may have to shell out nothing less than a hundred rupees for it. But I was surprised when the seller asked for thirty rupees only that I gladly paid him.
Only last week or so I had read about the venerable Shiv K Kumar, now into his nineties and ready to release another couple of books. At Abids I came across his ‘Trapfalls in the Sky’, a hardcover first edition that I got for the ridiculous price of fifteen rupees. It was more than forty poems and one of them was ‘An Indian Mother’s Advice to her Daughter Before Marriage’ that I remember reading somewhere long, long back.

Somebody had told me that the Hyderabad Book Fair was likely to begin from the seventeenth of December and would be held for ten days. There’s a couple of more weeks to go before the Book Fair begins and I am already feeling all excited about going there and plundering the second hand book stalls.

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