Friday, April 17, 2015

The Bengaluru Haul

Though Bengaluru has many charms the chief attraction it holds for me is the bunch of bookstores on MG Road where I have found many titles on previous visits. On a previous visit to Bengaluru I spent hours browsing in Blossoms, Select, Bookworms, and another store whose name I cannot recollect now and ended up buying about a dozen titles. Last week I was again in Bengaluru after driving down from Hyderabad on Saturday morning. My sole purpose of this visit was to buy books.
Later after we reached Bengaluru late in the afternoon and after checking into a hotel, I went straight to Select first where I found ‘Hunters in the Snow’ by Tobias Wolff. I already have his ‘This Boy’s Life’ with me that I had long ago picked up at Abids on a whim. It was a memoir of his childhood but ‘Hunters in the Snow’ is a short story collection. I was glad I found it but I couldn’t buy a title by Jerzy Kosinski that I kept aside hoping to pick it up on the way home after visiting Blossoms.
Before visiting Blossoms I sat in the India Coffee House and had a coffee and leafed through ‘Hunters in the Snow.’ The coffee was nice but it did nothing to lift my moods that were down after I got a phone call just before we entered Bengaluru. After spending a few minutes in Blossoms I noticed it was raining outside which further dampened my moods. I looked at the thousands of titles on the shelves with a desultoriness I do not usually experience in a bookstore. Even in that dark mood I managed to find a few titles worth buying. The first book I picked up was Gertrude Stein’s ‘How to Write’ which appears to be a tough read from what I gathered after I glanced at a few pages at random.
With the rain showing no sign of abating I realized that I wouldn’t be able to visit Select and the other store after I was finished at Blossoms. I decided to spend all the time at Blossoms and increase my chances of finding more books and so stayed put there. My next find was ‘Hopes and Impediments’, a collection of essays by Chinua Achebe. I’ll buy anything by Chinua Achebe. I felt lucky finding this title which I got for Rs 130.
My next buy was a title by yet another writer whose writing makes me buy everything he has written so far. I found ‘Elizabeth Alone’ by William Trevor which is the third William Trevor title I have after ‘Felicia’s Journey’ and ‘The Story of Lucy Gault’ that I found sometime last year.
Though I already own ‘Dave Barry’s History of the Millenium So Far’ by Dave Barry, I bought a second copy that I saw at Blossoms because I wanted to come out of my gloom and nothing makes me laugh hard than books by the one and only Dave Barry. I returned from Bengaluru with these titles, feeling glad that my trip to Bengaluru was fruitful.

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