Friday, January 29, 2021

Bonding with Bookshop owners and buying old, rare novels in different cities in India

Shams Ur Rehman Alavi

When you keep visiting bookshops often, you form a bond with the shop owners.

Just like other shops, the bookshop owners get to know your taste, the kind of books you buy.

You can spend time deep inside the shop without anyone bothering. 

From early teenage, I started visiting bookshops and many shop owners became friends. 

They would not only give good discount but some of them kept my favourite books aside, also gifted precious books. A visit would become mandatory every few weeks--discussing books but other mundane things and having tea together.

In Bhopal, either it was Chandna book depot in New Market or the shops in Old Bhopal, Ibrahimpura and other localities, I always had a good relation with most shop owners, except, Variety book house. 

In Lucknow, there are a few good shop owners in Aminabad, Hazratganj and some other localities. There is a separate post about Danish Mahal on this blog. It is always good to see shop owners who remember your choice and keep certain old books kept and handed to me.

Every round you make, you return with some of the precious gems, a feeling of victory. Krishan Chander's works or even Paale Khan, writings of Krishan Gopal Abid or Ram Lal, even Gulshan Nanda, that were once a rage, are now rare to find. 

When you get such books in one visit, the joy is indescribable and you feel like shouting, telling everyone. The only serious issue is about making space and about  keeping the ever growing number of books in the house.