Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Shortcut Surprise

I was headed home, cutting through a lane off Linking Road after buying a gift for some friends. And I stumbled across a book sale. I have written about me and book fairs before, but it was a pleasurable enough surprise to warrant a blog post.

The books (many of them second-hand) were arranged on long tables, and these occupied a long driveway of some sort of a school building. As I browsed through the rows of books, the school bell tolled the end of the day, and an army of extremely noisy, hyperactive children came rushing past, playing catch in the aisles and switching rows by ducking under the rickety tables. One minute a mischievous face peeped past a dusty stack of Archie comics, the other minute it was popping up near Deepak Chopra's tomes of self-knowledge. A terror of a man hollered at them till they all cleared out and I was left to look around in peace.

While I love books, I usually prefer to buy books I have already read that I love and want to own. I don't often buy books on the chance that I'll like them. (A recent exception - and a gamble that paid off - was Aseem Kaul's Etudes.)

Searching through books on sale is always such a thrill. They're not really arranged according to a system or a logic. If you're lucky you'll find all books by one author in one place. The excitement lies in running your eyes randomly over piles and thinking - the next book I spot will be something I've been looking for in a long time - and when it is, well, I wouldn't exchange that feeling for much! It's like striking gold!

Since I didn't have too much cash (they don't accept cards), I narrowed my "chosen" pile down to a copy of The Kite Runner (the pirated version was for 195 and the genuine one for 200! - I checked carefully and then bought the original) and, a childhood favorite - Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - the version with the crazy illustrations by Quentin Blake (who's done all of Roald Dahl's books). Yay. I walked away with the two books clutched in my hand, my fingertips a bit grimy after picking up and putting down so many old books, and the bargain-seeker in me very satisfied.

For those of you in Bandra, drop in at the sale. It's on till mid-March, and the hall is in the lane that connects Linking Road and Waterfield Road, opposite Amarsons.


eve's lungs said...

yessss Charlie and the Chocolate factory. I loved that edition and we have it somewhere .

Spirited Seeker said...

Reminds me of Darya Gunj's Sunday book bazaar.

Sagarika said...

I love those little old book shops by the corner.. it gives a quintessential feeling of being connected to a world of varied thoughts...n what i love is the afterwards feeling of sitting with my cuppa and going over my selections at home... n yes smelling them too... don't u love the smell of books?

eve's lungs said...

have you done a new post ?

A very cool cat said...

I understand exactly what you mean about browsing shelves - that excitement when you spot a book you've been wanting for a while, and excitement that sets your heart literally racing, is hard to beat. That happens to me every book fair :) And I love those editions of Roald Dahl with the Quentin Blake illustrations - the books are not the same without them!

Curry Pan said...

oh i know exactly what you Thamean by That Feeling when you find the perfect book! And how amazingly thrilling to find a long lost book! I used to love The Tree House Children by Enid Blyton with Angela and Barker and Peter and Susan but my mom gave it away and then the book went out of print.
Suddenly, last birthday, an old friend sent it to me for my birthday! That was wonderful!
I'm so glad I've found your blog. I feel like I've found a kindred soul!