Monday, October 5, 2009

How to buy books?

I bought Richard Branson’s autobiography Losing My Virginity. Then I remembered I already had that book on my shelf in Delhi. Before you ask me how can I be so forgetful, I queried myself why? The last time I had seen this book in the Sunday book market in Daryaganj, Delhi, I was tantalized by the title itself. I bought the book without haggling over the price. But since the title was so bold I couldn’t gather enough courage to read it at home. The book is also very thick that I can’t read it hidden within another book. So I shoved that book at the back of a swelling bookshelf and gradually the memories worn out.

This time I found it again in Higginbotham, Chennai, albeit under a different cover. For a second time, the title appealed the virgin inside me and I bought it instantly without any second thought. But as I came to my desk, I was in doubts. The thought of spending money on something I already had and had again and that I haven’t read it the first time and probably might not read it the second time too made me restless until I fished Amazon for the book. The book appeared in its old cover and left me doubtless.

So I went to the bookstore downstairs and took this chap with me. There I got to know about a whole new perspective on buying books. I have told him that to replace the book would be a difficult chore as books appeal my mood and I never go to a bookshop with a book in my mind. He gave me a discourse on how to get value for my money as we roamed around the book store, checking each and every book. Here are the pearls of wisdom:

  • Cover should be attractive. First impression is the last impression – this is what he believes in.
  • Books should have a lot of pictures. Probably a comic book would be just fine. If you can’t understand the language, you can probably get the story watching pictures.
  • Pages should be smooth and glossy. Should not be wooden and rough.
  • Buy a thick book, and not a thin one. This saves money in two ways. First it is cost effective. Like each page should cost less than one Re per page. Cheaper is good. Secondly, a thick enough book would take more time to read and finish. Thus in a span of time in which two or three books would be bought, you end up consuming only one thus saving further bucks.
  • Book should be by a prominent author. Even if you don’t get intelligent by reading the book, it will make others feel that you are intelligent by occupying a prominent place on your books shelf.
  • You can go for a heavy book or a light one. Heavy ones will serve to press envelopes and light ones you can carry around while travelling. People with books often get respect in social circles.

Thankfully, I was in no mood to pay any heed to his suggestions, and another long search brought me to this book – Go Kiss the World by Subroto Bagchi. I had the book in my possession now, but the titles I have bought today made me smile. Check them, aren’t you amused?

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