Friday, January 15, 2016

The Sunday Haul (on 10-01-2016)

On the first Sunday of 2016, which was the previous Sunday, I ended up with a haul of five books. Since it was the first haul of the year at Abids I did not mind that I had five books despite the promise I made to myself that I would limit myself to buying just one or two books every Sunday. I had made that promise to myself because at the end of 2015 I had bought more than 230 books which was a record. I had no intention of breaking that record and wanted to restrict myself as much as possible. But, once again I broke that promise because last Sunday I ended up buying six more books at Abids.
I do not remember if I have a copy of ‘The Snows of Kilimanjaro’ by Ernest Hemingway but when I saw a beautiful and almost brand new copy of this same title I couldn’t resist buying it. The seller was someone who automatically reduced the price for me even before I could bargain because he knew I wouldn’t bargain with him. I got this book for only thirty rupees. It has the following eighteen stories: The Snows of Kilimanjaro; Up in Michigan; On the Quai at Smyrna; Indian Camp; The Doctor and the Doctor’s Wife; The End of Something; The Three-day Blow; The Battler; A Very Short Story; Soldier’s Home; The Revolutionist; Mr and Mrs Eliot; Cat in the Rain; Out of Season; Cross-country Snow; My Old Man; Big Two-hearted River: Part I; and Big Two-hearted River Part II.
The second find was again with the same seller. After paying for the Ernest Hemingway book I spotted another slim book of poems. It was ‘The Emperor of Ice-Cream and Other Poems’ by Wallace Stevens. This collection has eighty-two poems including ‘Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird’ which I read was one of his well-known poems. One of the reasons I was glad I found this book was that the seller gave it to me for just thirty rupees. I think it is Wallace Stevens on the cover.
Sometime back I had found ‘The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz’ by Mordecai Richler at Abids. I had picked up this book from a heap of books being sold cheap. Coincidentally in the same place and in the same heap I found another of his titles- ‘Broadsides- Reviews and Opinions.’ I picked up this book because I like Richler’s humor and this was a collection of nineteen articles. I got this book for thirty rupees only. The book was in good condition and appeared almost new.
The next find was a classic of Telugu literature. I had planned to read at least one Telugu novel last year too since I had not been keeping that promise since the past few years. One reason was that I couldn’t decide which book to read first. Also, I did not have many Telugu books but one book that I was looking for was ‘Kanyasulkam’ by Gurujada Apparao. I found this book at last at Abids last Sunday. This edition was published sometime in 1985 and had an introduction by the great poet Sri Sri. I got this book for a measly twenty rupees. I am certainly going to read this book this year.
Sometimes I blindly pick up titles published by Penguin knowing that it would be something good or else they wouldn’t have published it. One of the reasons I end up buying books by authors I hadn’t read about is the Penguin logo on the cover that convinces me to pay up for it. So when I saw a Penguin title ‘Sleep No More’ by George Sims I picked it up. I haven’t heard of George Sims but I am sure it would be a good book I told myself as I added it to the haul.
The last book I found last Sunday at Abids was an interesting one. It was ‘The Professor and the Madman’ by Simon Winchester, which, as it was mentioned on the cover, is ‘a tale of murder, insanity, and the making of the Oxford English Dictionary.’ It was something I would love to read. I had read about this book a long time and had forgotten about it convinced that I would never find it. However, last Sunday I not only found it I also bought it. It did not come cheap though, I had to pay eighty rupees for it.

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