I went to a unique place today. The other day, my sister was taken to the residence of a Delhi industrialist by her workplace staff to select books! My sis works in the field of education and her office needs to build a library. It so happens that this industrialist's wife collects books from friends and acquaintances which she then sells at throwaway prices to raise money for charity. My sister was so taken with the range displayed that she immediately called me to visit asap.
So today I went. I was ushered to the back of the house where a dismantled sort of storehouse had packs and packs of books stacked one above the other. It boggled the mind to even imagine going through each one of them. My problem was how to locate that stack which belonged to a reader of literary books rather than pulp fiction. Thankfully, the caretaker understood my dilemma and brought out the more recently availed stocks in which I hoped to find books other than the sea of pulp that I encountered in my vicinity.
One such box turned out to be my savior. It had a lot of recently written contemporary literature, so my final list comprised these. It's not all fiction and some of it may not be literature, but we'll let that pass, won't we?
Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood
Lady Oracle by Margaret Atwood
Diana: Her True Story by Andrew Morton
Elizabeth Costello by JM Coetzee
The Shorter Strachey (I am most looking forward to this)
Falling Off The Map by Pico Iyer
Moving Beyond Words by Gloria Steinem
Collected Short Stories of Kingsley Amis
Quite a collection, you'd agree! I sure hoped for more, and had sneaked in a few extra notes in my wallet, just in case! But the deal was truly a steal, such were the price tags. Overall, like always, a great experience, replete with that very tangible nervous sensation of being in the company of something exquisitely fantastic.