Saturday, August 11, 2007


Buying books from discarded/used book sales has the drawback of the buyer being at the receiving end of the decision of what he or she can buy, and the advantage of buying a lot of books. Buying new books from bookstores has the drawback of having to shell out quite a lot of money for a book, and the advantage of the grand feeling of possessing a brand, shiny book you want immediately, among other things.

My recent buying trend has seen an increase in buying a lot from bookstores, of course whenever I can spare the money. For certain books the reasons are manifold - I would rather possess and read them now than wait for 5 years in the hope of it turning up in some used book sale. And new books feeeeel good :D

Walden (a well stocked bookstore in Hyderabad) had this anniversary sale recently - the discounts didn't go beyond 15%, but I did pick up

Bollywood - A history - by Mihir Bose. This one saddened and irritated me. It is really well researched, but the loads and loads of spelling and grammar mistakes take your attention off the content. Commas seem to be having a field day, while fullstops are an endangered species. True, books printed in India do look better than they used to 10 years back if you look at the glitzy jackets and binding. What has deteriorated (yes) is the quality of editing. I say this at the risk of being accused of sweeping generalizations. It only takes a few rotten apples. As I mentioned before, even young readers' books suffer.

and, Nyagrodha - by Kalpish Ratna. I always wondered who Kalpish Ratna was, having seen it on some book spine in some bookshop - the name sounded like it could belong to an ancient Indian philosopher.Here's the funda from the back flap of the book jacket -
"Ishrat Syed and Kalpana Swaminathan write together as Kalpish Ratna, a near anagram of their names. The pseudonym translates, in a piquant meld of Persian and Sanskrit, as 'the pleasures of imagination.'"

Bought The Idea of India and India Unbound - both at the Calcutta airport - I bought the second one because the first one got me interested enough in the rise of the Indian economy.

And finally, Shonkushomogro - the complete collection of Professor Shonku stories (in the original Bengali) - the enigmatic scientist character created by Satyajit Ray.