Friday, February 20, 2015

The Sunday Haul

A few days back the Government announced that shops could be allowed to open on Sundays also. At that time I did not really pay much attention about it since it wouldn’t affect me because I am not such a big shopper. However I thought that it was a good idea since both shoppers as well as the shopkeepers would benefit from it. It wasn’t until I went to Abids last Sunday that I realized that the Government’s latest announcement would affect me directly. When I first noticed that a couple of shops were open I did not give it much thought but later I remembered the announcement. It might take a couple of months for the shopkeepers to get into the habit of keeping the shops open so until then I guess the Sunday book bazaar at Abids would remain. Afterwards, what? I do not want to think or imagine about it now.
On the way to Abids I had stopped at a pavement bookseller at Chikkadpally. The guy looks so forlorn and lost that sometimes I give him books that I no longer want to keep with me. This made him that he is indebted to me. So he refuses to take any money from me when I pick up a title I find in his collection. But I always pay him whatever ridiculously low price he sometimes quotes. So when I spotted ‘The World of Malgudi’ an omnibus book with four titles- Mr Sampat, The Financial Expert, The Painter of Signs, and A Tiger for Malgudi- I picked it up. It was in extremely good condition and I desperately wanted it. He let me have it for only hundred rupees.
The next find was at Abids. It was a title that I never cease to find everywhere in all bookstores, and also pavement sellers. I have seen so many copies of it at so many places over the years but did not buy it. Finally, last Sunday, I bought ‘Cold Mountian’ by Charles Frazier when I got it for a low price. It is a forbidding tome of about 450 pages which was one of the reasons why I had resisted buying it till now. Anyway, now that I have bought it I hope to find time to read it some day in the future.
A couple of years ago at a book sale in YMCA I had come across Jonathan Safran Foer’s ‘Everything is Illuminated’ that I did not buy for some stupid reason. I guess it was the price that put me off then. However, I did not come across the title again anywhere. At Abids I saw another Foer title- ‘Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close’ that I hesitated for a long time to buy. This title too was another tome of nearly 350 pages of which about 25 pages are blank with some illustration filling a quarter of the page. Only when I read the book perhaps I will know what that illustration.

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