Friday, March 11, 2016

The Sunday Haul (on 6-3-2016)

It was another of searches on Sunday at Abids that resulted in a big haul of titles I couldn’t have found elsewhere at the prices I got them. Last Sunday I found seven wonderful titles that I felt I had to buy at any cost. By the end of February, that is in just two months, I bought a total of forty five books. I had never before bought so many books in the span of just eight weeks. Though this thought was at the back of my mind when I started for Abids on Sunday morning when I saw a nice copy of ‘The Interpretation of Dreams’ by Sigmund Freud at Chikkadpally I simply couldn’t leave it behind for someone else to buy it. So I had to buy it and luckily the seller offered to give it to me for just fifty rupees.
When I reached Abids the first title I saw was ‘Skin’ by Margaret Mascarenhas. I had read about this author somewhere and since the title was by Penguin I thought maybe it would be a good book nd that I should read it. I paid fifty rupees for this good copy.
The next finds were at a seller who had divided his pile of books into two sections- Books for Rs 30 and Books for Rs 40. In the former heap I came across ‘The Africans’ by David Lamb. I am absolutely fascinated by Africa and have many books by those who had lived and travelled in Africa such as ‘Dark Star Safari’ by Paul Theroux, ‘Journey Without Maps’ by Graham Greene, all the books of Chinua Achebe, Ngugi Wa Thiongo, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, and also books by Ryszard Kapuscinski, Laurens van der Post and so many others I cannot recollect right away. All these books that I’ve read with fascination have left me an image of Africa that I long to see in person someday if I can afford it and if I live long enough.
In the same heap I found another collection of short stories- ‘The Guardian Review Book of Short Stories’ which is a slim volume that contains eleven stories by well-known writers such as William Trevor, Margaret Atwood, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Helen Simpson, Rose Tremain, Mohsin Hamid, Rachel Cusk, Margaret Drabble, Hisham Matar, Audrey Niffenegger, and Polly Samson. In the introduction to the book it is mentioned that all these eleven stories are previously unpublished stories, and it also says that William Trevor is often cited as ‘the world’s greatest living short story writer.’ A friend of mine had found a copy of this books sometime back and I did not expect to find the same title so it was a pleasant surprise more so since I could get this little gem for just thirty rupees.
In the other heap of books selling for forty rupees I spotted a thick tome that turned out to be ‘When the Lights Go Down’ by Pauline Kael, the famous movie critic. It was a wonderful find because it is quite difficult to find such movie-related titles in Abids. Sometime back I had found a tattered copy of ‘I Lost it at the Movies’ and had been thrilled to find it. Now I was doubly thrilled to find ‘When the Lights Go Down’ which has reviews of more than hundred and sixty movies most of which I hadn’t watched. I guess I will try to watch them after reading Pauline Kael’s reviews. I was quite pleased with myself that I could spot this thick volume of nearly six hundred pages and also get it at such a ridiculously low price.
At a seller who I usually ignore and had been ignoring since a couple of weeks a sudden visit threw up a couple of good books. I saw a beautiful, hardcover copy of ‘Secrets of Better Cooking’ that I felt I must buy since I had just begun dabbling in cooking. It seemed just the book that would make me cook better or so I told myself before buying it. Another book I saw was a nice copy of ‘The Happy Isles of Oceania’ by Paul Theroux that I already have two copies of. But this copy was a paperback and had a different cover. The seller offered to give me these two books at a price I thought was reasonable. Other than that he looked like he hadn’t sold anything since the morning and I took pity on him and bought these two titles.

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