When I came across the book ‘Conversations in Bolzano’ by Sándor Márai at Abids last Sunday I couldn’t immediately recollect where I had read the name recently. I wondered whether to buy it or not since I vaguely felt that I must be imagining having read the name. So I did not buy the book right away and left with a vague uneasiness that I was making a mistake. Later, after I got home I checked a book I had finished reading recently. It was JM Coetzee’s ‘Inner Workings-Essays 2000-2005’ and after I looked in the contents page I saw the name Sándor Márai. Coetzee had written a twenty page piece on Sándor Márai and his books including the one I missed buying at Abids. I did not regret much because I realized that there might be people in Hyderabad who may have read Sándor Márai’s books and in fact might be looking for his books but certainly they won’t be the sort to look for them at Abids. So I decided the book won’t go anywhere and that I would pick it up next Sunday.
Once again, in another coincidence, I came across another name I had read recently. Quite coincidentally I had been reading John Braine’s ‘Writing a Novel’ in which he mentioned Norman Podhoretz’s ‘Making It.’ I was pleasantly surprised when I saw ‘Making It’ at Abids and grabbed it without a second thought. This was one of the rare occasions when I found a title I had just read about somewhere. I got the book for fifty rupees which is not a very steep price for a title like this. ‘Making It’ joins several such memoirs on writing and publishing that I have managed to find over the years.