Friday, July 10, 2015

The Sunday Haul

Three weeks into the month of Ramzan some of the shops in Abids opened their doors on Sunday to let in the surging crowds of shoppers. This meant that the sellers of second hand books who normally set shop on the piece of pavement before these stores had to shift to other places. This was a displaced Abids book bazaar that I saw last Sunday. Another Sunday and things would be normal with each seller sitting at his usual place on the pavement. The clear day seemed to bring in more Ramzan shoppers outnumbering those who had come to look at the second hand books.
Ever since I got the idea to rebuild my Len Deighton collection I have been finding one or the other title in the trilogies. The other Sunday I had found a good copy of ‘Spy Line’ by Len Deighton, the second of the Hook, Line, and Sinker trilogies. Earlier I had found ‘Faith’ in the Faith, Hope, and Charity trilogy. This Sunday I found the first title ‘Spy Game’ of the Game, Set, and Match Trilogies. I found this title in the thirty rupee heap. At this rate it won’t be long before I rebuild the three trilogies.
About a month ago or so I had seen two travel books, both by Indian authors. I had spotted ‘Roadrunner’ by Dilip D’Souza and also ‘Looking for America’ by Avirook Sen. Coincidentally, they happened to be accounts of the author’s visits to the USA. As usual I thought I would pick them up later and went on. Then when I looked for them a week later I couldn’t find them. I couldn’t spot them the next Sunday too. So I thought some smart soul must have picked them up. I had seen a copy of ‘Roadrunner’ at another second hand bookstore and I didn’t regret missing this copy at Abids but I realized I wouldn’t be able to find ‘Looking for America’ again. But I was wrong. I found the copy at a different seller and bought it before I changed my mind.
Shortly after finding these two titles I came across a good copy of ‘The Famished Road’ by Ben Okri that I have been trying to find since a long time. Ever since I found and read Chinua Achebe’s wonderful books I have been on the lookout for books by African writers. I have books by Ngugi, Chimamanda Adichie, Binyavanga Wainaina, and others which I have found to be fantastic reads. So when I found this copy of ‘The Famished Road,’ I bought it even though I had to shell out a hundred rupees for it.
With these three books the total tally of books I picked up this year comes to 96. It won’t be very long before it reaches hundred books. I haven’t read half as many so far this year.

1 comment:

S. Jayasrinivasa Rao a.k.a. winding river said...

Ben Okri's The Famished Road is a good find...this book won the Booker if I am not wrong...