Apr 1, 2003

They beckoned, they enticed. With money in my pocket and a willingness to spend, often lavishly, without the customary caution and comparison that would have permeated purchasing back home, I was pulled into a web: invisible threads luring my attention. "Take me" they cried, and who could resist the glittering temptation? I succumbed. Later, I recovered just in time to re-fasten the grip I had rapidly lost on my money-purse: but the damage had been done.
That's what happens when I go to a new place and find bookstores all around me: garrisons of summoning books, "come-here-to-me" enticers in Dawson Street & O'Connell Street with Eason's & Reads (not as ubiquitous as Burger King outlets, but more than in your average city): The books were not very cheap, but a strange surge of shopping mania swept me and I found myself holding books and wanting to buy so many of them: I would have never dared to contemplate spending so much in normal circumstances. Since, I told myself, I wasn't going home with any Irish-chaap clothes or Japanese electronic goods, might as well splurge on books. After the first binge, I had tasted the sweetly addictive sense of piling up books. At some point, I decided to break free of this very scary mercantile obsession: never having been a "shopping type", the strange gravitation to a store to browse and purchase was novel and even exciting!
But in summary, here's all the stuff I got. I bought them for various reasons: of non-availability back home, of smelling a good bargain (one of the days was World Book Day providing a discount opportunity, also note that "bargain" may not, translated into rupees, seem the right word), of old favourites in a flea market sale and plain "I've got the money, let me buy the book" arrogance.

The books were:

The Satanic Verses: Salman Rushdie
The Hannibal Lecter trilogy: Red Dragon, The Silence of the Lambs, Hannibal: Thomas Harris
Fermat's Last Theorem: Simon Singh
Six Easy Pieces: Richard Feynman
The Salmon of Doubt: Douglas Adams
The Blind Watchmaker: Richard Dawkins
Darwin's Dangerous Idea: Daniel C. Dennett
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?: Philip K.Dick
Adolf Hitler: My part in his downfall: Spike Milligan
Stanley Kubrick: A Biography: John Baxter
and two more chota-mota books.

But the find of the trip, though not a book, was undoubtedly the Radio version of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Fit One to Fit Six. I didn't get Phantom's in the Brain inspite of some frantic hunting, but will probably need to order it. The only problem is: when will I read all these books...

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