Not on city’s books

The only constant thing they say is change. Old is giving way to the new in each and every sphere of the city.

Written by Amrita Chaudhry | Published: March 3, 2009 2:53:04 am

The only constant thing they say is change. Old is giving way to the new in each and every sphere of the city. Whether it is the façade or the small symbols that were once the heart and soul of the city’s life… everything has altered.

Sunday book market,which sells second-hand books,too has lost its clientele to computers and the Internet over the decades. Though it is not a huge market,five vendors have been selling books by the roadside for the last few decades. None of them is clear as to when they started their business. The usual answer is,“For ages”.

These five odd-booksellers put up their wares up for sale at Ghanta Ghar in Chaura Bazaar every Sunday. Mind it,these books are not pirated,but original paperbacks.

Just dig through the piles of books and one might land into J Krishnamurthy,Richard Bach,John Grisham,James Hardley Chase,Mario Puzo,Robert Ludlum,Sidney Sheldon,Paulo Coelho among others.

And the icing on the cake is that some of these books are available at throw away prices between Rs 50 and Rs 100.

The first stall near the Phulkari Showroom belongs to an old man who identifies himself as Sethi and nothing more. He is very pained to see how youngsters treat books these days. A few feet away is Minto Kumar who has been putting up his stall for more than a decade now. He explains,“English novels are a great pick and so are imported magazines. People love to read magazines on fashion and interiors.” When asked about the source of these books,Mintu says,“We buy old books from bookshops and crap sellers. Some people also come and sell their old collection to us.”

J P Singh,a professional,has been coming to this market since his college days. “I joined the local SCD Government College for my postgraduate degree. Though Sunday was a holiday,I would come to the city and more precisely to this book market to buy books. To be honest,an old book appeals to me more than a new book which seems impersonal. Moreover,I have been able to pick up some of the greatest classics and titles from here which are usually very expensive if bought new.”

For magazine reader Rakesh Kumar,“I have picked up some of the collectors issues of magazines from this market. Be it the National Geographic or Time,I love reading foreign magazines.”

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