Sunday, 26 July 2009

Reading Corner

When chox moved south (and east) wards and would talk about all the wonderful libraries and book places in her city, I used to feel a pang of jealousy. My options in Mumbai were limited to:
Crossword at walking distance from home &
L'Amour Lending Library, likewise.

While I spent sufficient time at both places, the grass seemed greener on her side of the septic tank for sure. Occasionally, I justified or rationalised it in various ways. Oh yes, her kid is older, places in Mumbai are way too far (like going to Strand was a day's expedition, and happened twice in seven years), yada yada yada.

So now, here in Chennai I expected nothing more than the ability to go to Landmark once in a while (a bookstore I like more than Crossword, generally, maybe just 'cause of some vague memories of being completely taken aback by it when I first came to Chennai for college, all those years back, in 1991).

But guess what! Life has been more than good.

* I have been a few times to Landmark already. They have two locations (as far as I know) and I have visited (and sampled the ware, obviously) at both
* A crossword store reasonably close to my place exists. It works for situations when speed is of essence.
* A sudden stop-over at a random handicrafts exhibition revealed an upstairs Book Fair. Not the best of things, definitely cannot find things you are looking for, but what prices! I found some of the authors I like to read.
* A friend took us to Tiruvanmiyur to a slightly better Book Sale/Fair. It had a better selection of books for me, and very reasonably things for the monster. So yeah!
* The friend told us plenty more places to go to, especially for the kid. The prices are really good at these local (non-chain) book stores, and most importantly, these places are close to home.
* Found a couple of large lending libraries - some dusty, some nice. One right by ludwig's place I have my eye on.
* But best of all, absolutely best of all is a Children's Reading Room I found at work, in the Library! Imagine that! They have maybe 500 books for children. A fairly wide array, actually. This works out well because we can go there through the week when I have stuff to read (which is often these days, thankfully, that beats having meetings for sure!), and I dont have to bother to put her in the creche since she can easily spend a couple of hours reading there. (and yes, chox, next time you are here, kids will like it).


wordjunkie said...

Now I am jealous.

Kodi's Mom said...

delurking to ask: where is this library? and is it open only to employees?
last time we were in chennai, was limited to buying books at a basement book store - would have preferred to check them out so you can sample more.

Ram Tekumalla said...

Whatever happened to Higginbothams on Mount Road? It was my fav place as a kid

Anonymous said...

ok. here's inside info.

(despite reading a thousand or so posts on running...)

this gem of a second-hand bookshop is in Luz Corner in the basement (opposite picnic plaza ) about 10 shops away from nehru news mart,.

the short lady wearing specs and carrying away more books than her height is my ma. almost permanent resident there.

artnavy said...

there is higgin bothams and connexions and lots of second hand book shops as well if u r okay with that

and if u like mindless fiction- u can definitely pick up stuff from us:-)

kbpm said...

WJ- come over. (simple).
Kodi's Mom- Hi! Welcome! Its tough to get into this library, its accessed by smart card plus they are a pain at the main gate of the campus too.
RamTek- Still there. plan to go this week.
MiM- Have heard about this place. Friend of mine had written about it sometime ago. I will go, walk up to lady and ask her a long-winded question. If she answers in the pithy manner we associate with MiM, I will know its her (plus, the books).
Art- Yeah. Higginbothams I have to anyway go to see if they have any decent books for work. I cannot classify what I read so will be sure to browse your bookshelf too!!

choxbox said...

yay for kenny and the non-M!

hey i remember talking to you abt the fact that there HAD to be a childrens section in the libe.
and pliss to be doing a favour - if you find any firstborn-worthy books, pick them up no? btw she re-read the miniatures book you'd given her for the 1000th time yesterday - you will permanently be associated with that wonderful piece of work.

Parul said...

You are so right about Strand. I love the place but going all the way to Fort is bloody tough.

wordjunkie said...

Smart card, wow!! I walked in and studied for my GATE exam there over a period of two months, with nothing more than a reference . This was the Dark Ages, however, 1997...But yeah, wonderful library.

kbpm said...

wj- its not a big deal. i still dont have a card so i show them my bombay one. it takes some convincing, which can be tough at times - they have hired security guards from bihar who only speak Hindi. oh well.

chox- i have lost the ability to figure out what is age appropriate. all thanks to the monster with her irritating habits. but i have a couple in mind, will hopefully work for FB.

parul- true, especially in the monsoon months!

Sands said...

will have to poing you for pointers when I am there the next time. My other struggle is how do I bring all these books back with me? They get so heavy and hard to accommodate within the luggage allotted to us :(

dipali said...

Sounds great, all these libraries!