Saturday, December 24, 2011

Hyderabad Book Fair, December 2011

I must admit that for a self confessed book lover, I haven't been regularly visiting the book fairs in Hyderabad. A lack of awareness of when they are held also kept me from visiting them as often as I would like to. Well, yesterday I happened to visit the book fair at People's Plaza.
I walked to the place from the Necklace Road MMTS station, about a kilometer and half away. Taking the walk was a good idea as not only did it give the body the much needed physical exercise but also did away with the hassles of finding a parking slot for the vehicle.
Just outside the entrance, you have a few food stalls selling the 'chaat' stuff, coffee & tea. I passed over the temptation to have some tea as I was more eager to get lost in the vast ocean of joy that awaited me inside. The meager Rs. 5 charged towards the entrance ticket, is, I guess, more to keep a count of the number of visitors rather than actually charging you any.
The stalls were set up in a vast area. I haven't kept an exact count of the number of stalls but I did notice stalls numbered 170 onwards. My guess is that there were about 180 of them in all. There was tea and drinking water but no food stalls inside the premises.
What does the fair have to offer for the book lovers?
  • Management books (most of them more popularly known as personality development or self help books) .
  • Religious, spiritual books and CDs: (there was also the Nitayananda's stall, lol! )
  • Books for the students: the regular sciences, GRE, TOEFL etc.
  • Some of them had the kids' stuff like CDs/DVDs playing the rhymes, cartoons etc.
  • A few stalls selling stationary
  • For people like me who dig fiction, there definitely was much to offer as nearly 40 % of the stalls had the stuff.
Second hand books abounded with many of the popular titles being offered for as less as 50/-. The new ones had discounts of about 10%. But later I realized that we could bargain further there. A word of caution for the people who already are equipped with a list of new books that they want to buy. Don't! Flipkart offers it at much cheaper rates than the fair does. Second, do check the print inside before buying. Some of them are Indian reprints and the quality of print is poor. You get the original version in flipkart.
    But for the second-hand stuff, if you are lucky, you land up with some really good picks. You just need to have the patience to delve through. The true book lover can get lost in this world as the look, touch and feel of the pages in his hands can give a heady feeling.
    We have the Numaish exhibition in Hyderabad every year. The crowds jostling for space, the long ques for tickets had put me off. To compare, the crowds here are no where as thick as the ones at Numaish, yet what's redeeming is that there were crowds. There were kids, of course and grown ups mostly 30 years upwards. There were very few of people in their 20s buying the real stuff (that is apart from the study material). I almost felt like hugging one such young girl who was seriously browsing through the novels...real novels and not just some chick-lits. There is still hope for the continuing of the culture of book reading, I thought.
    There was also quite a handful of Telugu literature.Though I don't have an in-depth knowledge of Telugu literature, I recognized some reputed names in the old world of Telugu fiction/ poetry by Sri Sri, Chalam, Yendamuri, Ranganaykamma... Telugu children's books were there but I wonder how many of our kids have even heard of the Budugu books. I heard some of the kids clamoring for 'Cinderella' books though. I also found few of the famous English novels translated into Telugu.There were a couple of stalls selling Hindi literature too.
    I felt quite heady in this environment which was breathing and living books. The sight of so many books, the sound of books being discussed...

    I made a very conservative purchase of two books : Ken Follet: 'A Place called freedom' and James Patterson: 'Honeymoon' Safe buys both...known authors, bestsellers.
    'Roots' by Alex Haley has been my favorite and I had read it when in my college. Since then I had wanted to possess the book. When I saw this book, all discretion set aside, I went ahead to buy the book for 300/- ( I found out later, available cheaper in flipkart). The fourth book was a book which had the feel of a junk-read. 'Oh Shit, Not Again!' By Mandar Kokate: unknown author, unknown book...what you buy as 'what- the- heck' kind of novelette. Will find out when I read but for Rs.130 for a new book, it is ok, I guess!
    Though far from being satiated, nevertheless, the possession of new books in hand is invigorating.
    The foodie refuses to remain quelled even in a blog about books. Well, so here's to that foodie:
    I visited Water Front at the end of my experience. As I stepped in, it was so dark that I almost couldn't see my way around. As I was one of the earlier ones to arrive, I got a place by the lake-view which I admit, was awesome. The ambiance of the place, the view, the prices in the menu, everything was superlative! Though I had to read the menu by my mobile torch, lol! The vegetarian curries start at Rs. 250. There is a section of Thai and also cocktails and mock tails (160/-)
    As I was in a bit of hurry to catch my train back, I didn't order for anything exotic or elaborate. Also the fact that I was alone and would not be able to down the regular order of North Indian fare without getting some of it packed. Ordered a simple Hakka noodle ( 253/- with taxes) which was good in taste, decent fill per plate. May reserve this one to visit with the family for a leisurely visit later as I have read good reviews of this.


    pavi said...

    cheaper than flipkart I found a stall which has all books thrown in heap , it was like 50 per book and they look like one time read . Compared to abids market it might differ but I found some real best sellers in the list . Picked up 4 !

    Beautiful World said...

    Hi, thanks for dropping by.
    I think you speak of second hand books. I could find no new books at that price.
    But if it is something that you have found and I missed, then I do envy you.

    Vinod Ekbote said...

    You did not seem to have really looked in the second hand stalls. There were a lot of good books available for cheap.

    Beautiful World said...

    Hi Vinod,
    The first two books that I mentioned in my blog are second hand ones which I got at good rates.
    One visit of 3-4 hours is not really enough to scan all.
    Moreover, I must admit that in scanning and selecting good books, I am no match to a connoisseur like you.

    RamaWish said...


    pavi said...

    I dont think they are second hand ones, I bet they are the ones which were lying in book stores with no one to buy them , but yes there are few used books in them .

    Beautiful World said...

    @pavi: I'd need a keener eye the next time and surely more than one visit. The next time, if possible, let me know where you find such treasure :)