Friday, February 12, 2016

The Birthday Haul

Last Saturday it was my birthday. ( I turned 53.) Knowing my love for reading and books a few of my close friends ask me what title I would like to have as a gift. I have a list ready for such occasions and though it is quite a long list I usually manage to get a couple of titles I am dying to read as gifts. So when a friend living in Mumbai asked me to name a title I told her about ‘Vanity Bagh’ by Anees Salim she sent it to me. I got the book much before my birthday. It was a hardcover title and I have kept it aside to read as soon as I finish the books I am currently reading.
On Saturday I decided to go to Akshara to look for a book I had a hard time buying. This title was on Amazon but there was no ‘Cash on Delivery’ option and there was some problem with the online payment so I decided to go to a bookstore and check it out. I didn’t know bookstore chains like Crossword employed dumb people. I had been to Crossword in the City Center mall in Banjara Hills to check out ‘The Girl Who Ate Books’ by Nilanjana Roy but the person at the counter couldn’t even spell books correctly. I thought I would be able to find the book at Akshara (currently at Jubilee Hills) and as I thought so it happened. No sooner had I started to mention the title than the girl at the counter interrupted me to say that they had the book. It did not take even a minute to take out the book that was prominently displayed.
So when Hari dropped in at Akshara and asked me what I wished to have as a birthday gift I told him I wanted ‘The Girl Who Ate Books’ by Nilanjana Roy. My wish was granted and I was quite delighted that I had got the book as a present. Since I was able to save the money I had put aside to buy this book I thought I would buy myself a couple of books as gifts I looked around in a room at the back in Akshara. This room seemed to have copies of books that have long faded from memory. I was quite thrilled to find a beautiful, brand new copy of ‘Ex-Libris; Confessions of a Book Lover’ by Anne Fadiman. I decided to buy it at any cost though I already have a couple of copies of this title. The girl at the counter told me that I could have the book at Rs 150 only!
Since I had some more money left over I decided to buy ‘Ismail Merchant’s Indian Cuisine’ by Ismail Merchant since my interest in cooking seems to be growing the more I look at books on cooking, eating, and food. I got this book for just hundred rupees. There are more books in that back room at Akshara and I am planning to go again someday and pick up some of them.

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