Wednesday, June 13, 2007


another haul at the book sale

i'm a confirmed buying addict that is ...i can never pass up a book sales. going to book sales to me is like going to flea market (which i absolutely love too) . you just keep an open mind and the anticipation of finding something unexpected is thrilling. the only problem is, just as in flea markets where you are likely to end up with all those cheap and cracked ceramics pretending to be tang dynasty celadon or something and all those other things that you would other wise never in your right mind would buy , like wise everytime there is book sales i'll end up spending way too much on all kind of books...but books are'll not likely to buy stupid books if you're informed enough... so i'm not very likely to end up buying sophie fucking kinsella for sure even if they go for three cents a copy.

several months back somebody mentioned he found a rhyzard kapuscinski at atria bigbookshop sale and i was there several days before but didn't see any and as I'm always very fascinated by kapuscinski's writings i ended up going there almost everyday after that poring over every single title on sales until i get sore neck but failed to find the bloody thing.

but happily and unexpectedly i did find one rhyzad kapuscinski ( the shadow of the sun: my african life) in the current book sale at atria. and here's another thing. in addition to kapuscinski , there are quite a few other names that i'll not hesitate to buy on the spot and in case of fictions will self is one of them and quite surprised to see his latest the book of dave in hardback already in the sales . if i'm an author i'd feel very depressed to see my book in remainder bins less than a year it's out in the market...i understand if it's sophie fucking kinsella but no, these are real books... by authors like julian barnes, zadie smith etc who are presumably writing because they want to say something, not like sophie fucking kinsella who i don't know what fuck all she's writing for... apart for money that is...

and i'm crazy about travel writings but here i am not too sure of myself... i'll just go by gut feeling and instinct though a few authors like paul theroux i'll buy on the spot. the rest i depend on my nose so to speak though if the writer has written for say harper's magazine, new yorker or good newspapers (NYT, guardian for examples) helps....and any classic travel writings from centuries back i'll buy on the spot too...

and i like to collect essays and reviews and hence this time I am very happy to get the world according to Clarkson, Jeremy clarkson's compilation of his mad writings in the sunday times (UK) 2001-2003. He's the maddest writer if there ever is one...probably the brit's answer to P J O'Rourke , the other crazy guy across the atlantic.

although book sales here are very much lacking in art books, another craze of mine, you sometimes can get some unexpected finds. This time I had matisse :The master by Hilary Spurling , and two renaissance masters, a Phiadon's series on Piero della francesca and a coffee table book Carpaccio by Peter Humfrey. There was a very good book on renoir but i don't like him very much so i did not buy this one. one time i bought a very good book on the russian cubist popova from thor kar hong's skoob at unbelievably cheap price and over the years i've collected quite a respectable collections of art books and perhaps i have around 500 or so volumes now and growing...

and my cracked imitation tang celadons this time were a couple of travel books by authors I never heard of and this humongous book of a thousand pages or so and weigh about a kilo's on one of my favorite subjects the crusades and it's God's war: a history of the crusades by Christopher Tyerman. and unexpected find also is May 13 a book by kua kia soong that created a little ripple in some quarters here recently.

i truly don't know when i will ever read any of these books and at the snail pace i'm going it'll take may be more than a hundred years for me to do justice to my books but that's not the issue. and i'm happy that my worse half completely understands me and don't really mind all my books lying everywhere although as women are wont to do she'll grumble a bit sometimes and can't understand why i need to buy so much but i can understand her not understanding me perfectly and it's simply because she doesn't read! well it could be worse - thank god she doesn't know who the hell sophie fucking kinsella is....

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