Friday, May 20, 2016

The Sunday Haul (on 15-05-2016)

Though Sunday morning turned out to be a pleasantly cool one on account of the heavy rainfall the night before I was a bit worried if there’d be water stagnating at Abids deterring the sellers. Last Saturday night it had rained quite heavily and there was a strong wind blowing too that caused many trees to topple over. I saw it in the morning while on my early morning walk. Large trees were uprooted and had fallen across the roads blocking movement of traffic. Some of the trees had fallen on the electricity poles causing a long power cut that lasted until afternoon on Sunday. When I got to Abids I was relieved to see all the sellers at their usual places.
The first title I saw was ‘The Interpreters’ by Wole Soyinka. At last I have managed to find one of his works after reading about him quite a long time back. The other title I found was ‘The Memory of Elephants’ by Boman Desai. I haven’t heard much about Boman Desai which was one reason why I decided to pick up this title apart from the interesting cover page. It was a hard cover and was publised by Andre Deutsch. The other Sunday I had seen an interesting title that I did not buy for some reason and when I wanted to buy it on Sunday the seller hadn’t come!

Friday, May 13, 2016

The Sunday Haul (on 8th May, 2015)

Last Sunday it wasn’t the kind of day Sunday normally is for me. I had been asked to come to the office which put me in a resentful mood. I had just an hour or so to go to Abids and check out the books. I had seen a title the previous Sunday that I realized was a good one and when I wanted to pick it the seller did not turn up. I looked around and managed to find another cook book. It was ‘The Complete Indian Cookbook- from Kashmir to Kanyakumari’ by Vimla Patil that I got for fifty rupees.
Though the visit to Abids in the morning helped me overcome the disappointment of going to work on a Sunday it did not last long. I had thought I’d be able to leave the office by evening but I was in the office until midnight. The Chief Minister was going to New Delhi to meet the Prime Minister to appraise him about the drought in the State and since I was the only officer available it fell on me to prepare the notes. Though I managed to complete the notes the loss of a holiday put me in a bad mood all week until Thursday.
On Thursday I dropped in at the Best Books store at Lakdi-ka-pul since it had been quite a long time since I had checked in at the store. Sometime back at a sale of Best Books in February I found two copies of ‘The Cost of Living’ by Mavis Gallant. Somebody had told me not to miss any title by Mavis Gallant so I felt quite lucky finding ‘The Cost of Living.’ On Thursday I got lucky again and found another title ‘My Heart is Broken’ by Mavis Gallant. It was only for forty rupees and I felt glad I found the book. It is a collection of the following nine stories: Acceptance of Their Ways; Bernadette; The Moabitess: Its Image on the Mirror ( a short novel); The Cost of Living: My Heart is Broken; Sunday Afternoon: An Umarried Man’s Summe; and The Ice Wagon Going Down the Street.

Friday, May 06, 2016

The Sunday Haul ( on 1-5-2016)

Right from the beginning 2016 has been very lucky for me when it comes to finding good books on Sundays at Abids. I’ve been picking up at least one good title every Sunday at Abids and last Sunday too I was similarly lucky. I found not one but two interesting titles at Abids last Sunday. Since I had to attend a marriage in the afternoon on Sunday I planned to browse for about an hour and leave early so that I could be on time for the marriage. In the hour and half that I was at Abids I was able to bag two books that I felt I had to buy.

Sometime back I had found Gordon Ramsay’s memoir titled ‘Playing with Fire’ at Abids. When I began reading it I realized that the pages at the end were missing. I was disappointed that I wouldn’t be able to know how the book ends. Normally I check for missing pages at the front and the back, half torn pages and such damages before I decided to buy any book at Abids. Somehow I failed to notice the missing last pages in ‘Playing with Fire’ before paying for it. Anyway, I found ‘Humble Pie’ also by Gordon Ramsay that turned out to be his autobiography. It was at the bottom of a heap and somehow I spotted the title and dug it out. It would have to be someone very dumb not wanting to know more about Gordon Ramsay after watching ‘Hell’s Kitchen’ on television.
The copy of ‘Humble Pie’ that I found was a hardcover one and in a fairly good condition. It was in a heap of books selling for forty rupees which was what I paid for it. I wish I hadn’t given away ‘Playing with Fire’ because it would have been interesting to read ‘Humble Pie’ before reading ‘Playing with Fire’ again.
After discovering Ross Macdonald’s Lew Archer my interest in reading Robert B. Parker’s Spenser series waned a little. However, I haven’t stopped buying them when I find a title I do not have. Next to the heap in which I found ‘Humble Pie’ was another heap of mostly paperbacks selling for thirty rupees each. It was in this heap that I found a beautiful copy of ‘Mortal Stakes’ by Robert B. Parker that was a Penguin edition. I do not remember if I already have this copy but nevertheless I bought it because it was too good a copy to leave behind.
I also found a nice copy of 'Asterix at the Banquet' that looked almost brand new. The smart sellers at Abids quote no less than a hundred and fifty rupees for such copies but I got mine for just fifty rupees which was a steal.