Thursday, December 31, 2015

The 2015 Hyderabad Book Fair Haul- Part IV of IV

Most of the time I went alone to the book fair alone and those were the days when I found several good books. Once I went with the family and managed to find only one book. Another visit was with my son and once again I could find only one book. On a solo trip to the book fair which happened to be on a day when it was Christmas I found one book. But this one book was a title that I was happy to find because it was by a famous travel writer.

Travel books happen to be another genre I love to read because I like to travel. Around a quarter of the books in my collection is made of books by travels writers like Paul Theroux, Ryszard Kapuscinski, Pico Iyer, Jonathan Raban, WG Sebald, Bruce Chatwin, and also Jan Morris whose style of writing I like immensely. On my fifth visit to the book fair the only book I found was ‘ Pax Britannica’ by Jan Morris. I found this book in a stall of one of the sellers at Abids. He was the one who gave me a pass to the book fair that allowed free entry on all the days. Last year too he had done me the same favor. Though I do not buy many books from him at Abids but whenever I buy for him I pay him whatever price he quotes. He is one of those few sellers at Abids I do not bargain with.
Anyway I noticed that Pax Britannica was the second title in a trilogy about the British Empire called ‘The Pax Britannica Trilogy. The other two titles were: ‘Heaven’s Command’ and ‘Farewell the Trumpets.’’ Now I am in a dilemma. Should I read ‘Pax Britannica’ right away or wait until I find the other two titles in the trilogy. Though finding them seems impossible I am going to look for them until I find them somewhere. This is why people like me always learn about more titles to read. But this is one Jan Morris title I am not going to read right away.
I was back at the book fair again on the next day. But this time I was with friends- Umashankar and Daniel. I managed to find more books, four to be exact. The first find was ‘The High Window’ by Raymond Chandler which was a Penguin edition. It looked an ancient copy wrapped in plastic that was once clear. Though I already have a copy of this book I bought it for a hundred rupees since it is quite impossible to find Raymond Chandler titles.
The second book I found was another screenwriting title, the fourth such title related to movies I found at the book fair. It was ‘Aristotle’s Poetics for Screenwriters’ by Michael Tierno that I got for hundred rupees. It looks like fate is conspiring to make me read as many script writing books as possible so I could finish the script I am working on.
In the same stall I saw a nice copy of ‘Jaya Ganga’ by Vijay Singh and it was a Penguin edition. A long time ago I had read about this book but hadn’t come across it anywhere. I hadn’t planned to return for a final visit next day which happened to be last day of the book fair. I hesitated for some time but ultimately gave in and bought ‘Jaya Ganga.’
My final visit to the book fair ended with a lucky find. In one stall somehow my eyes fell on a heap of children’s books kept on the ground beneath a table at the front of the stall. I spotted ‘Wide Sargasso Sea’ by Jean Rhys on the top of the heap. The board above said ‘Rs 20’ which was enough to make me buy it. Another reason was that the copy I had at home was heavily underlined on almost all the pages. This was a pristine copy, cheap, and the publisher was W.W. Norton and Company.

I bought a total of 24 books at the book fair this year!


Maya Varde said...

Mr.Ekbote , I enjoy reading your articles. Though I haven't read majority of the books of your book haul , I am always curious to know what next ? Which rare book you are going to find ?
Thank you for the great ride in the world of books.

Maya ( )

Vinod Ekbote said...

Maya, thank you.