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May 23, 2009

Musings on Buying Books in Hyderabad

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Written by: అతిథి
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రాసిపంపిన వారు: Hrishikesh Barua

Hrishikesh Barua skroderider’s అన్న బ్లాగులో పుస్తకాల గురించి తరుచుగా రాస్తూ ఉంటారు. ఇలా పుస్తకం.నెట్ గురించి చెప్పి ఏదన్నా రాయగలరా అని అడిగితే, తనకి తెలుగురాదన్నారు. పర్లేదు, ఆంగ్లంలోనే రాసిమ్మని అడిగితే, హైదరాబాదులో పుస్తకాల కొనుగోళ్ళ గురించి రాస్తున్నారు. We thank Hrishikesh for responding almost instantly to write here. Hope to see more non-Telugu enthusiasts turning up soon.
– pustakam.net team.
*********************************************************************************************************
If you are a bibliophile, you know that the act of buying is an experience in itself, equaled only by the acts of possessing and of reading a book.

When I was a school going kid, books were expensive. But I did have indulgent parents and uncles and managed to amass a sizable collection. Back then, every science fiction book was something to be treasured – they were so hard to get! Asimov and Clarke were names I had only heard of. When I did read my first Asimov story (The Merchant Princes, from the first Foundation book *), I did not find anything special about it. But then I read it again, and again, countless times. It took me some time to realize how a good SF story can stay on your mind.

Among the books I have bought in the past 5 years, science fiction outnumbers the rest by a huge margin.

There are numerous old and second hand bookshops in Hyderabad. Some of these have chains of stores around the city, like M.R. Books, Best Bookstore and Unique Books. They sometimes set up shop in temporary places in and around Hyderabad. The experience of sifting through the rows of shelves and dusty unopened boxes of books in the first few days of opening of a book sale is one you would not want to miss. There is no dearth of collectors, so you can’t run the risk of going late and missing out.
These guys have tons and tons of science fiction – and other things as well – which I used to buy and get home in big cardboard boxes! This madness has lessened in recent months, mostly because I have become more selective. And also because these bookshops have more in the way of quantity than quality. That’s not to say that I did not get a lot of rare titles, but more often that not I ended up buying because ‘it’s SF, and I want it!’. I still visit these, though rarely.

If you’re in Hyderabad, then you know the Sunday book market in Abids. It starts from the Abid’s bus stop and goes on till the MPM mall. It is rows and rows of books on the pavement. Here you can get them at really throwaway prices, provided you know how to bargain. It won’t be very interesting if you go there every Sunday, as the stock rarely changes. But once every while, I get lucky and pick up some really rare titles.

I discovered online bookshopping around 3 years back. Since Amazon does not ship to India, it took Indiaplaza.in, landmarkonthenet.com and now flipkart.com to really popularize this. Indiaplaza has a huge range of titles, but nothing very exotic. Even when you get out of the way books, they would be imported editions and cost you the earth. The sites I really like are Flipkart and Infobeam. The first one is based out of Bangalore, and since its inception (when it had a few titles), it has grown really big. I buy mostly technical books there – those O’Reilly editions that you never get easily. A big plus point is that they ship books free of cost throughout India. Indiaplaza has also recently started an offer where they offer free shipping above 2 books.

Some other online Indian bookshops are www.firstandsecond.com and pustak.co.in – I’ve not tried these yet. The latter site seems to have a huge collection, but their shopping cart software still seems to be non-functional in anything other than Internet Explorer 7. Also, its interface is buggy, to say the least. If anybody has a different experience with pustak.co.in, do let me know.

Apart from these, there are the regular bookshops – Odyssey, Walden, Crossword, Himalaya Book World. I really wish that Landmark would come to Hyderabad (and not like the small outlet at the RGI Airport!). Landmark’s annual sale in Bangalore is something I look forward too every year.

Footnotes
* Well, chronologically not first in the storyline but the first among the ones published.



About the Author(s)

అతిథి

పుస్తకం.నెట్ కు సభ్యులు కాని వారు పంపే వ్యాసాలు అతిథి గా ప్రచురింపబడతాయి.



9 Comments


  1. నైస్ ఆర్టికల్ విత్ గ్రేట్ ఇన్ఫర్మేషన్


  2. […] పుస్తకం.నెట్ లో ఆంగ్లం లో రాసారు (ఇక్కడ). ఇప్పుడు మరోసారి, పుస్తకం కోసం – ఒక […]


  3. Raj mohan

    this site is really ood..
    i wanna buy book mnamed “MADE IN JAPAN” could you help me in that way?


  4. Hrish

    @Yogi : Thanks for your comment. I completely agree with you.
    Btw, the bookstore you are referring to is a branch of MR Books – my office used to be right opposite that. So naturally I used to visit it almost every day. They had good stuff but I think they have stopped getting new stocks now.


  5. Pradeep

    Hi Guys,

    I exactly know what Barua is talking about coz I acompanied him many times in his book hunt. His apartment is a mini SF library. I remeber once from Bangalore he picked up a gunny bag ful of books…!!!

    Everyone….if you have any doubts, need refernce or guidence in Science Fiction…dont goto Google…just rech him. He is the best source I know in Hyderabad 🙂

    Parry


  6. Pratap

    Please correct the spelling mistake in Hyderabad Book Trust Blog
    http://hyderabadbooktrust.blogspot.com


  7. Pratap

    మరి తెలుగు పుస్తకాలో … …
    ఆన్ లైన్ లో తెలుగు పుస్తకాలకోసం ఎ. వి . కె. ఎఫ్ . వారి సైట్ ని చూడవచ్చు.
    అట్లాగే మంచి తెలుగు పుస్తకాల వివరాలను హైదరాబాద్ బుక్ ట్రస్ట్ వారి బ్లాగు లో తెలుసుకోవచ్చు.
    http://www.avkf.org/BookLink/book_link_index.php

    http://hyderababbooktrust.blogspot.com


  8. Dear Hrishikesh,

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading your musings. Like you, I too am a great fan of Issac Asimov’s foundation series.. on the surface, he writes SF, but if one looks deep into his works, he is more than that. He has great insights into human psyche and is a master story teller.

    There is another book store in Begumpet, opposite lifestyle (I don’t recollect its name) which has huge collection of novels, classics, poetry, philosophy, travelogues, magazines etc., You might want to check it out!

    Telugu or no Telugu, Its good to see you writing here, and I hope to see more 🙂

    Cheers



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