Yesterday, I went on an adventure. A real life, winding-corridors adventure, with new opportunity at every turn, flavoured with the paper thin smell of yellow books. Adventure, warm and familiar.
Readings in Lahore, is one of the only bookstores where books are personified, alive. I don’t get to visit that often, but when I do, I go crazy with happiness. Imagine a little kid jumping up and down in a candy store, trying to take in everything at once. Readings has thin corridors, stacked ceiling high with old and new books, so crumbling covers, aged papers and fraying binding is skilfully juxtaposed with glossy hard covers and shiny paper. Its something old and something new all at once.
Sitting on a cushion (one of the many scattered around), I saw to my delight, a new shipment of books just being opened to be stocked. And here my luck stepped in. I found all the books I was looking for, used obviously, which made them more special.
Secondhand books to me, have more charm than glossy unread new ones. There are countless times when i’ve found notes and old birthday wishes penciled in the leaves.. For example, I found this note inside a fat novel:
How can people not love finding these things? The book in your hands could have been anywhere, could have been a gift, could have settled a feud, could have gone in space. Endless possibilities!
And so, I bought a total of 11 books, all in 1000 rupees, which is around $10, or 6 pounds. Could you have had a better bargain? Do tell me..