Wednesday, December 30, 2015

The 2015 Hyderabad Book Fair Haul- Part III of IV

It appeared quite difficult to restrain myself from going to the Book Fair on the third consecutive day but I managed but only for a day. I was back the next day for my third visit and landed three good titles.
Being someone who reads a lot and buys books at every possible opportunity I try to read about books, reading, and about collecting books. I have a few such titles such as ‘How to Read and Why’ by Harold Bloom, ‘Ruined by Reading’ by Lynne Sharon Schwartz, ‘The Groaning Shelf’ by Pradeep Sebastian, and in my view, the best of such titles- ‘Ex-Libris’ by Anne Fadiman. Finding this title a few years back was one of the happiest days of my life. Sometime in April while at Goa I found my second copy of this wonderful, little book. Luckily I found another title edited by Anne Fadiman which was ‘Rereadings.’

‘Rereadings’ has seventeen writers on their experiences of rereading their favorite books. Of the seventeen I could recognize only Allegra Goodman, Vivian Gornick, Pico Iyer, Philip Lopate, Vijay Seshadri only and the rest were new names to me. However it seemed an interesting book that I want to read very soon. It was a hardcover copy in good condition with jacket intact for which I paid a hundred and fifty rupees.
Though I read a lot I cannot write as well as some of the authors I like. I haven’t been able to write as well as I wish I could despite my best efforts since more than a decade. In an endless effort to improve my writing skills I keep reading books on writing in the hope that someday I’ll be able to crack it. One of the better books on writing that I had read is ‘On Writing Well’ by William Zinsser. I found my first copy of this title a long time back and till now I must have bought nearly half a dozen copies of this book. At the book fair I found yet another copy of ‘On Writing Well’ that I bought for a hundred and fifty rupees.
Before the book fair began I had a feeling that I would be able to find some titles that I am desperately searching for. Two titles in the final Len Deighton trilogy were in this list of books I wanted badly- Spy Hook, and Spy Sinker. The day before on my second visit to the book fair I found a nice copy of ‘Spy Sinker’ and this day I found the other missing title- ‘Spy Hook’ which was again a hardcover copy. This was also an Alfred Knopf edition that did not fit in with the rest of the titles in the three trilogies that I had in my bookshelf.
I was back the next day again to the book fair that seemed to be attracting unprecedented crowds every day. In fact it was so crowded that I found it difficult to make my way into some stalls and in those that I managed to get in by squeezing past I was unable to take a good look at the books on the shelves. However, I managed to find a brand new and beautiful copy of ‘The Foreigner’ by Arun Joshi. I can never let go of any title by Arun Joshi that I come across though I own at least two copies of each of his half a dozen titles except ‘The Survivors’ that I haven’t been able to find anywhere.

At the end of my fourth visit to the book fair I bought a total of eighteen books. If I bought eighteen books in just three visits in the four days of the book fair then I realized I would end up buying nearly fifty books if I went every day for the remaining seven days. I decided that I would buy only one book on each visit if I can help it.

Tomorrow: The 2015 Hyderabad Book Fair Haul- Part IV of IV

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