Thursday, November 26, 2015

The Sunday Haul (on 22-11-2015)

Not surprisingly it is on days that I make a firmer-than-usual resolve not to buy any book on my trip to Abids on Sundays that I end up buying more than the usual couple of books I invariably buy at Abids. Last Sunday this was what happened after I landed at Abids with this resolve in mind. The first book was one I didn’t really have to buy but I bought it. We don’t keep pets at home nor am I overtly fond of dogs. Though I have had a scary encounter with a huge dog at Port Blair almost a decade ago I am kindly disposed towards dogs in general. However, watching Cesar Millan’s show on TLC in which he talks about dog psychology made me more interested in dogs. My son loves dogs and is aching for a pet dog since he was a small kid it hasn’t been possible to get a pet for some reasons. Anyway, on Sunday I saw a nice copy of ‘Cesar’s Way’ that I immediately picked up. I got it for only fifty rupees.
The next book I found was ‘Chowringhee’ by Sankar that I almost grabbed off the pavement. It was a beautiful Penguin edition and I was getting it for fifty rupees only. Sometime last year I had bought Sankar’s ‘Middleman’ and after reading it had been looking for more books by Sankar. The translation was done by the well-known writer Arunava Sinha and I was glad I found this book. I am looking forward to begin reading it sometime soon. This was one buy I am not going to regret.
The next find was a book I read was flying off the shelves after the recent incidents in Paris. I have a copy of ‘A Moveable Feast’ by Ernest Hemingway that I had picked up a long time ago somewhere. I do not remember where the copy is but when I saw another copy of ‘A Moveable Feast’ I decided to buy it. It is a slim book of not more than 126 pages but cost me a little more than what I usually pay. I got it for sixty rupees and it was worth it because the copy was quite good though inside some of the pages appeared to be stained. It is one of the few books I am planning to read next after I finish the lot I am currently reading.
On the way back home I stopped at one of the three sellers and immediately found another couple of wonderful books both incidentally linked to movies. I found ‘Four Films of Woody Allen’ that I took out to see if it was in a good condition because I had made up my mind to buy it. It was in an excellent condition and my next fear was what the seller would ask. I had guessed at the price which he would quote but I was pleasantly surprised when he asked for one third of the price I had in mind. I got this book containing screenplays of four of Woody Allen’s films (Annie Hall, Interiors, Manhattan, and Stardust Memories) for just seventy five rupees.
The other book that I got at the same price was ‘Stephen King Goes To the Movies’ which was a book containing six books by Stephen King that were made into movies. There’s an introduction by King before each story telling us something about how he came to write the story and how and what liked in the movie version. The stories in this book are: 1408, The Mangler, Hearts in Atlantis, The Shawshank Redemption, Children of the Corn. This is another whopper of a book that is thicker than a brick. But I am glad I found these two books in addition to the three books I found at Abids.

Friday, November 20, 2015

The Sunday Haul (on 15-11-2015)

Normally titles in current bestseller lists do not appeal to me as much as those belonging to an earlier era and hence do not find a place on my bookshelves unless I read some terrific reviews by critics I follow. Even then I do not rush to buy them and tend to wait until second hand copies appear. Sometimes it is a short wait but strangely it is difficult to find second hand copies of some titles that many people talk about. I had heard of ‘Gone Girl’ by Gillian Flynn but had not felt any urge to buy and read it. I wasn’t really interested in reading though I have been told that the book had been made into a movie also.
But last Sunday when I saw an almost brand new copy of ‘Gone Girl’ by Gillian Flynn I thought it wouldn’t be such a bright idea to let go of it. After some really hard bargaining I managed to get it for a hundred and fifty rupees though the seller asked for two hundred and fifty rupees for it. It was a nice copy that looked new and did not have any name or signature or any kind of blemish on it. I felt glad about its appearance but when I saw a second copy with another seller I wondered if I had paid too much for it. I should not have been so hasty I thought. But since I had already bought there was no point in regretting the purchase.
My search for the missing titles in the three trilogies of Len Deighton almost ended after I found two more titles in the second trilogy of Faith, Hope, and Charity. I found copies of both Hope, and Charity at the same seller which was a happy accident. I got these two titles for sixty rupees which made me feel that I have really arrived as a hard bargainer. The seller had asked for sixty rupees for each title but I got away buying them for half the price. Now I have all the titles in the Game, Set, Match and the Faith, Hope, and Charity trilogies. I need to find only Line, and Sinker in the Hook, Line, and Sinker trilogy. I hope to find them by the time I finish reading the first two trilogies.

Friday, November 13, 2015

The Sunday Haul (on 08-11-2015)

There are a few writers I am obsessed with and Arun Joshi happens to be one of them. I have all of his titles except for ‘The Survivors’ which is proving to be elusive. I have found ‘The Foreigner’ ‘The Apprentice’ ‘The Last Labyrinth’ ‘The City and The River’ and also ‘The Strange Case of Billy Biswas’ and I have read all of them. Of all these titles ‘The City and The River’ is my least favourite novel by Arun Joshi. Somehow I did not like it as much as I liked his other titles. However, whenever I come across any of these titles I make it a point to pick them up. In this manner I have gathered multiple copies of all the above titles except ‘The City and The River’ of which I had only one copy. Last Sunday I found another copy.
Because Diwali was only a day away the shops at Abids were open on Sunday which meant that the sellers of second hand books on the pavements at Abids were not at their usual places. However, some of them who have their regular places not on pavements before the stores were there at their usual places. It was at one such seller who has his regular spot near the GPO that I saw ‘The City and The River’ by Arun Joshi. I was thrilled to find that it was an original edition published in 2000. It was a hardcover copy with the jacket intact. However it was not in a pristine condition and there was some damage on the front as well as at the back though the pages inside were intact. I did not think the damage in no way affected the value of the book so I picked it up. I got it for just sixty rupees.

The only title by Arun Joshi that I do not have is his short story collection- The Survivors. It is proving to be elusive though I have my eyes peeled for it and hungrily look for it wherever I go. I am sure I will find it at Abids itself because it was at Abids that I have found all the copies of Arun Joshi’s novels apart from the copies I bought at second hand bookstores in Hyderabad and elsewhere.

Friday, November 06, 2015

The Sunday Haul (on 01-11-2015)

A couple of days ago I met a young bibliophile in Hyderabad who had read my blog and wanted to talk to me. During the course of the conversation which centred mostly on books by Indian authors I mentioned that I had been looking for books by Fakir Mohan Senapati. I had told him that I wasn’t able to find anything by Senapati till date. That was Tuesday I guess when I met this young man, and yesterday when I dropped in at the MR Book store at Punjagutta I saw ‘Six Acres and a Third’ by Fakir Mohan Senapati in one of the hundreds of books laid out on a table. I was delighted when I took it out of the pile and saw that it was a Penguin imprint. Though the price was two hundred rupees I did not want to leave it behind because I know it would be impossible to find this title at Abids in the near future.
This wasn’t the only book I found last week. On Sunday at Abids I found two more wonderful books. A considerable space in my bookshelves is filled with memoirs and autobiographies by well known writers. I somehow cannot resist buying such titles and the reason could be that I hope to find some bit of writing knowledge in their books that would help me become a better writer and help me complete my novel that I have been working at since more than a decade. On Sunday I found another such title by a writer whose books I had read a lot when I was young. I found ‘The Other Side of Me’ by Sidney Sheldon’ which was a hardcover copy though there were some moisture stains in some pages. On the whole it was in quite good condition and so I bought it. The seller asked for just fifty rupees for it which I paid him gladly.
It wasn’t at Abids that I found the second book but at Chikkadpally on the way home. I have a considerable number of titles on India and its recent past that have been written extensively on by writers like Sunil Khilnani, Pavan K. Varma, Shashi Tharoor and so on. For a long time I had been looking for something by Ramachandra Guha who writes intelligently on a lot of things happening in India and also about the country’s past. Luckily I saw his ‘India after Gandhi’ that turned out to be one big tome running into more than seven hundred pages. The size of the book was intimidating and I hesitated for a long time wondering whether I would be able to read a book of that size and length. For the first time the price wasn’t the deciding factor but the length of the book. Finally I decided to buy it since it was almost brand new and for the price at which I was getting it the deal was a steal.