In search of happiness

There are only two days in the entire year that I look forward to eagerly, like a thirsty man in search of water, like a person in search for an oasis, for life itself. Clearly it’s not by birthday, or even Christmas or Easter, officially designated as ‘eat-till-you-roll’ kind of days. The two days I look forward to are World Book Fair and Delhi Book Fair, both held at Pragati Maidan.

As a kid, I’d always heard about the famed Kolkata Book Fair but was never able to visit it. Maybe my parents feared I’d end up asking for the moon. No, scratch that. Maybe they feared me throwing a tantrum in public, screaming for the moon. Childhood was all about borrowing from friends or from libraries. It was only when I tasted independence during college that I started to buy books, because I could.

And so, when I came back to Delhi after four years in Pune, I landed up at the Delhi Book Fair with my friends. And I haven’t stopped ever since. The joy of visiting a book fair is incomprehensible. My excitement levels go through the roof. I ensure I withdraw a decent amount of money from the bank in advance, and manage to beg for a little more from dad (cherry on top).

Going to the book fair is not an easy task, especially if it’s at Pragati Maidan. It’s a sprawling campus and a day here, fighting the crowd, arms ladled with bags, and sheer exhaustion and thirst, one needs a breakfast of champions to get through the day.

But this day has been such a blessing. I’ve managed to pick up old books, second hand books and even new books of various genres. From replenishing my section on holy books to stumbling over authors of repute, the day is filled with surprises and possibilities.

My most recent expedition was just last Sunday, when I headed again to the hallowed halls of Pragati Maidan for the Delhi Book Fair. And what a loot I came back with? Douglas Adams’ The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, Alice Sebold’s The Lovely Bones, a book by Hunter S. Thompson, a book on the concubine that changed China, finally my own copy of The Shining, a book by Ben Okri, stumbled upon The Thirteenth Tale, that VS Naipaul book I always had my eyes on, Lady Chatterley’s Lover, another Orhan Pamuk for less than Rs 200, oh and so much more. There is a satisfaction of a divine kind that I feel when racing through the titles on display, avoiding the innumerable Jeffrey Archers and John Grishams, the multitude of Cecilia Ahern and yes, Mills and Boon.

 

My latest loot!
My latest loot!

And when I come back home, tired with sore palms and screaming arms, and I discover that the books I just picked up on a whim are really by celebrated authors and on many must-read lists, my heart fills with pride and my eyes go watery. There can be happiness on earth.

I am taking my Alexa rank to the next level with Blogchatter.

Currently, I have a dismal India rank of 5,715,655 and I intend to see this decrease. Over the course of this month, I shall be blogging at least twice a week and my special hashtag for this endeavour is #BetweenPages, for both my theme, related to books and reading, and for sharing the blog posts of my compadres. 

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86 thoughts on “In search of happiness

  1. It is said, “The ink of a scholar is more sacred than the blood of a martyr”. I perfectly agree with this view. I am a lover of books. I spend a good deal of my leisure, reading books. Books give me immense joy and satisfaction apart from knowledge. It dispels my tension for some time, at least. That is why; I always visit book fairs whenever I get a chance to do so. Now-a-days, book fairs are becoming quite common. Besides, the commercial advantages, they also provide several benefits to the general public. The greatest merit of book fairs is that it widens people’s reading habits and love for books, leading to an improvement in literacy and public education.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh you are so right. If possible, I would always gift a person a book. Books are linked to endless possibilities and interpretations. I’m glad book fairs are becoming popular in Delhi, and it’s good to see children being encouraged to pick up books.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Ramya ! I was this. My childhood was all about borrowed books and sitting in library for hours… Job got me independence and now you know how insanely incurable I am :) I went to blossoms yesterday and went emotional… smell of old books and what not :D

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  3. Heya,
    Am jealous to see your loot, although, even I looted a lot this Delhi book fair. I bought few new classics, Dan Brown and few more. I didn’t find Lady Chatterley lover and V.S Naipaul. Both my favorite. Still at the end of the day if you come up with exciting paisa vasool reads, the pain in feet is worth 😉
    Happy Reading.

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  4. I once got bored and landed up in Blossoms Book Store in Bangalore. I bought The 13 1/2 Lives of Captain Bluebear, probably one of the best books I have ever read. Landed up in a Book sale in Dehradun two years ago. Discovered a dozen old books written by Spike Milligan. Bought them without a doubt. Whenever I need a Morale Booster, I just open one and read. I can read them over and over again. Never do I get tired of it.

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  5. Fascinating yaa. Sounds like such a grand happening. The largest book fair for me was Book By weights exhibition, which wasn’t a fair but more of a book loot. In comparison it was a ghost town with buildings and houses made of books. So basically all the books minus the liveliness which I sensed in your portraiture of the Delhi Book fair. It did remind me of Kala Ghoda festival in terms of the vibes and vibrancy though Kala Ghoda isn’t a books or literary festival/fair.

    Your whimsy choices are like on totally another level.. Haha. You did pick out some of the best and most unique titles. As I was going through each title it sounded to me like you had planned it out beforehand about what exact book you needed and which was worth reading. But then I found out it was just your whim, a rather classy one..
    #omkarreads

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  6. I could so relate to the old you. I never buy books. Just borrow. The first my own book I got was last month when a friend gifted. I intend to buy books after I get a job :) This excitement of yours is contagious and I feel it too. Btw, is shining the one they mention in friends sitcom?

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  7. I wish I had that kind of feelings for books! Seriously! I want to have, but I don’t have. I don’t get an adrenaline rush when I see books! Yes, I do feel happy, but there’s no excitement! Glad to read your post today. It kind of gave me hope!

    Cheers
    Geets

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  8. I envy and commend your stash – it’s indeed drooliciously impressive. I have consciously avoided the book fair ( after many deliberations) as I have been buying far too many books ( I know I know, there is no such thing as too many books) this year !! I could really feel your book fiend emotions in this write up and continue looking to read more on books via your blog. Happy blogging!!

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  9. I can totally understand how it feels to have unknowingly picked a celebrated author. It’s been years since I have been to any book fair. Your collection looks like a dream :D

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  10. Wow! That collection looks quite amazing. I have always wanted to go a good book fair but haven’t got a chance till date. Hopefully some day.

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  11. Oh sweetheart, I totally comprehend the feeling!! From sheer lust to un-mitigated glee! I have currently stopped hoarding books as there is no place to store them. Kindle it is for me now! But you carry on….and I must say you’ve laid your hands on a booty!! Looking forward to your next posts :)

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Totally ‘my kind’ of post! Loved it :) I’m a veteran at the Kolkata Book Fair and miss it so much here in Pune. There’s a Books-by-weight annual sale here that I look forward to now and have picked up a few beauties there.

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  13. You make me want to go to the book fair so bad!! But I just cannot handle those crowds, they make me anxious. And so every time there’s a book fair in Delhi, I just feel a lil bit sad about my crowd phobia. :-(
    But, it sound like you got an amazing haul of books!! Happy reading!

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  14. Amazing…Book Fair is no more than an exhibition or a shopping extravaganza. I remember..whenever I land there, I always end up spending hefty amount….but its all worth it. :)

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    1. I always earmark a certain budget, since I’m a serious shopper. I avoid buying online or from bookstores the rest of the year. And I ensure I don’t waste the money on something I would not read. It’s not the numbers but what each book or author means to me.

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  15. The books! The BOOKS! THE BOOKS!!!
    I’m in book-lover’s heaven right now looking at all those books you got your hands on! I’ll surely check out if there’s something like this here in my city, this has got to be the most amazing place to be in!

    All the best on the Alexa Campaign! Will be right here to support you!

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  16. Book Fairs are always interesting. I however do sometimes get intrigued that with the kindle and other online versions of books, would our children continue to love books as much as we do. Really want to impart book collecting habits to children.

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  17. I used to go to book fairs as a child but the fairs here were never crowded. I guess I’m living in a city that has very few book lovers. And now there are hardly any fairs. I’ve always wanted to go to the Delhi fair and Kolkata fair. Glad you you got to go again. :) Lovely haul.

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  18. Now this is some serious collection of books. I believe, there is lot more residing in shelves ;) :) Do share the no. of books you have in total :)

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  19. The joy that a book fair gives us can not be compared. I had recently been to the Chennai Book Fair and carried the books in an auto. I purchased Cecilia Ahern’s limited version of hardcover novels among much more. My mom still doesn’t let me go alone to a book fair. Sigh!
    And I hope you have a great September!
    Cheers!

    Liked by 1 person

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