Abids: A carnival of books

Abids: A carnival of books
Highlights

Every Sunday Abids looks like a carnival, books skirting the closed stores and not just limiting to a few genres. These unending stacks of books which stretch along a few kilometers, just like treasure, cannot claim what is in store for their unsuspecting readers.

Every Sunday Abids looks like a carnival, books skirting the closed stores and not just limiting to a few genres. These unending stacks of books which stretch along a few kilometers, just like treasure, cannot claim what is in store for their unsuspecting readers.

Although, the sellers of prior owned books cannot compete with the upcoming eBooks and online shopping with their enticing discounts one has to agree that the tradition of buying old books creates an experience of pleasure. A thorough rummage through the huge piles for books that even our grandparents have never heard of, for inscriptions from another generation, for rotting yellow pages, for the pure satisfaction of buying books for just 5 rupees is what one goes to Abids for. In comparison, buying books online has made it a mechanical process of navigating through pages and clicking away to add books to the cart. Despite the concept of convenience, it is surprising to see how people still make time to go down to buy books only after touching and smelling them. Yes, how many of us have bought books without first smelling them and basking in the strange fragrance of dusty old copies?

Every year this place gains more loyal customers who choose to buy a share of their books from flea markets. Abids has brought back nostalgic readers to their old reading habits with every book they read as a child lay forgotten under the numerous piles and exposing books that are no longer in publishing.
So why would we deny our kids this opportunity? Isn’t it time they walked down the market that maybe helps them create a memory of buying their first book through a treasure hunt rather than picking off the best sellers rack at Landmark or Crosswords? We could be leaving our progeny with gifts our ancestors created.
It is my belief that we need more of these imported books. The city needs old books of unknown origin, of writers that never got a chance to become famous only because they did not have a pretentious heroes dealing with the world problems, of books that have been removed from literary reviews because consumers of some generation did not enjoy them. Prior owned books stalls are a source of literature that even the internet sometimes fails to offer.
It is time to claim back the puzzle of piecing together books perhaps that will keep the younger generation from relying on somebody’s opinion to create their own reading chart.
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