My collection includes books given (in exchange or lieu of something, on my request) or gifted by my friends / family and the ones I bought. When I know someone is gifting me a book, I specifically (and shamelessly :-P) ask for the title I want to read. Chuck modesty!
Why do I buy?
I have so many reasons to buy a book that they sound more like excuses. So I won’t list them here.
Where do I buy?
Unless inevitable, I don’t buy from online bookstores like Amazon and Flipkart despite their heavy discounts. For me, buying books is a very personal experience. I enjoy the process of buying books in physical stores almost as much as reading them.
I scout for books wherever I go. Even when I travelled outside for official trips, I roamed alone on streets filled with old book sellers and bought some good stuff.
Here is list of bookstores I generally visit to buy books.
|Sl.No.||Bookstore||Reason I visit||Approximate time spent per visit||USP|
|1||Book sellers on Avenue Road, Bangalore||Used Kannada and English Books||1-2 hours||Old treasure house. I got Kannada version of Mahatma Gandhi’s pictorial biography for Rs.35 once.|
|2||Aakruti Book House, Rajajinagar, Bangalore||Used Kannada and English Books||1-2 hours if the owner, Guru, is present|
Less than 15-20 mins if it is just staff
|Guru is an avid reader and very knowledgeable about books.|
|3||Ankegowda Book House, Pandavapura, Mandya||Used Kannada books||3-4 hours||Rarest of rare books, but not everything that is displayed is up for sale. Cash only.|
|4||Ankita Book House, Basavanagudi, Bangalore||New Kannada books||1 hour||Courteous and knowledgeable owner and staff|
|5||Blossom Book House, |
Church Street, Bangalore
|Used Kannada and English Books||1-2 hours||Aladdin’s lamp. Surprises galore.|
|6||Kannada Pustaka Pradhikara, JC Road, Bangalore||New Kannada books||1-2 hours||Excellent place for “complete collections”. But they sell like hot cakes. Always visit with a big bag.|
|7||Kannada Sahitya Parishat, Chamarajapet, Bangalore||New Kannada books||1-2 hours|
|8||Kuvempu Bhasha Bharathi Pradhikara, Mallathalli, Bangalore||New Kannada books||30-45 minutes|
|9||Lavanya Book Store, Rajajinagar, Bangalore||Used Kannada books||1 hour|
|10||Prasaranga, Mysore University, Mysore||Kannada, English, and Sanskrit books||1-2 hours||Older, undiluted versions of books available. But sell out real quick. Grab when you can. Cash Only.|
|11||National Book Trust, Banashankari 2nd Stage, Bangalore||New Kannada and English books||1 hour||Excellent books for all ages at dirt cheap prices. One of the books I bought costed Rs.7.50 after 50% discount.|
|12||Sahitya Akademi, Central College campus, Bangalore||New Kannada and English books||1 hour||Sahitya Akademi award winning books, translated from other languages|
|13||Sapna Book House, multiple outlets, Bangalore||New Kannada and English books||30 minutes|
|14||Sudha Book House, Srinagar, Bangalore||New Kannada books||30-45 minutes||Owner Paramashivappa is an avid reader and knowledgeable about books he sells.|
|15||Total Kannada, Jayanagar, Bangalore||New Kannada books||1 hour|
However, my biggest single-store haul was when Late Ravi Belegere’s Belegere Books and Coffee (BBC) shut down. I made three trips on my scooter carrying sackful of books each time.
I participate in the annual book exchange event. I have sent and received books.
I have an unwritten book exchange pact with a friend which happens multiple times a year. Sometimes I ask for a specific book, sometimes I don’t. But despite what non-believers say about book exchange initiatives, I like the idea of getting unexpected books from strangers and enjoy the process of buying (or selecting from my own collection) for them.
I did not visit a single book shop when I stayed in Kolkota for a couple of months. I still don’t know the reason behind that blasphemy.
I don’t negotiate price when buying books. But I don’t say no to discounts.
Though I create and promote usage of eBooks, I don’t buy them as I am still not comfortable reading books on a device.