Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Where to find good books

Water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink - The Rime of the Ancient Mariner

ne thing I really miss about not living in the US is access to new books. Thanks to the public library system there, I had access to lots and lots of books. And I used to bring home dozens and skim through many, since reading all of them was not physically possible.

Actually, right on the pavement outside our temporary apartment in Bangalore, tons of good books are being sold. And they are dirt cheap too. But there is one small catch. They are all pirated books.

In some ways, I admire whoever it is that prints these. They seem to be gauging the pulse of the reading audience very well. Tom Friedman, and Arvind Adiga and Paul Coelho are staples and most bestsellers make it here.

The quality of these books however, is pitiful – extremely light print on thin pulpy paper. I am even willing to overlook the lack of quality. But I am realizing that somewhere along the way copyrights and intellectual property have become meaningful to me. Or maybe all those movie DVD’s that started with the “Piracy is Stealing” ads have had an impact.

So I seek out second-hand bookshops or the Indian editions in real bookstores. But I have stayed away from the roadside vendors and their pirated books. For now.

No comments:

Post a Comment