Thursday, October 28, 2010

Books from Chennai India

As in my entry in my other blog fyi-penang about Visiting India and Chennai I mentioned that it would be worthwhile looking for books of your interest due to good supply and relatively lower costs.

Admittedly most books are in English and Tamil. So your choice of language is limited to this. We even found it extremely difficult to find any Hindi books in Chennai though it being the National Language.

Just googling 'Book Stores in Chennai' will give you quite a comprehensive list and location of bookstores.

We managed to check out
1. Landmark Book Shop - they have a number of stores, and we went to the one at the City Centre Mall which also houses the INOX theatre. Its not a Kinokuniya, probably its one of the smaller stores. Note that though most of the stores there close at 10pm, Landmark in City Centre closed at 9pm. So to be fair I didn't really have a good chance to check out the place.

2. Higginbothams - This store is located by LIC Building. It's got a good feel to it, housed in one of those colonial British buildings with a decent set of collections, however, it is more like Popular than Borders as I couldn't find any place to sit and read. I found the collection and arrangement pretty inviting, and bought a book there titled "Stay Hungry Stay Foolish" by Rashmi Bansal, which is a collection of "inspiring stories of 25 IIM Ahmedabad (IIMA) graduates who chose to tread a path of their own making (entrepreneur)".
It costs me Rs125 which translates to less then RM10, total pages ~330pages.

Stay Hungry Stay Foolish is a saying made famous by Steve Jobs during his speech to the graduating class of 2005 Standford University , and the author of this book acknowledges this. I particularly like how the author elaborates this:
"That there was something bigger and better to do with their talents. So they did the things others thought were foolish and they stayed hungry for that something more.

I have read nearly a quarter of the book and found so far all but one of the stories inspiring and insightful.

3. Road side version....
Well I'm not really sure what to call this, I'm just borrowing this term from the seller, basically we were walking down Pondi Bazaar in Chennai (T.Nagar shopping area), where there a many shops and road side stalls selling cloths, slippers, and even books! Basically what they've tried to do is to stock the best sellers. The seller recommended the Monk who sole his Ferrari. Quite a famous book but I declined. Then I noticed Edward de Bono's Six Thinking Hats. Another interesting book. But initially I decided not to as the front and back cover were literary 'blurred'.

Edward de Bono's Six Thinking Hats

But when I opened the book, the pages were readable. Yes, the paper quality and the print are not high end, but read-able with ease.

I asked him how much. He said Rs90 (remember RM1 = Rs 14) .I asked him two questions
Why is it relatively cheap and WHY are the covers printed so 'blurry'. Is it a 'pirated' copy? He convincingly told me it is Road Side Version. Low quality and cheap for the masses.

Anyway, ended paying Rs60 for the book. I think photocopying the book would have been more expensive probably...

Anyway those are two of the few books we bought. Now to finish reading them!