The Library at Night

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Author: Alberto Manguel
Title: The Library at Night
Publisher: Yale University Press
Year of publication: 2006
Place of publication: Canada
Place of purchase: Jaipur
Purchase cost: Rupees 750
Ownership: Firsthand
General comments: The transcription of the inscription is pretty nondescript, the story behind it a lot more memorable. I ignored a deep-rooted distaste for a certain kind of literature festival when I heard Manguel was to be part of the JLF a couple of years ago. He didn’t disappoint one bit, criticizing Amazon (the main sponsor) with quiet glee while sitting under its banner and skillfully disappearing after every session. I happened to simply run into him while this book was on me. That I was even more reticent to engage with him than he with me seemed to encourage him to sign the book and later enthusiastically pose for a photo.The frog’s a linguistic pun- he found my name amusing and was pleasantly surprised when I told him I was in on the joke (my name means little frog in Spanish).
Transcription of inscription:
To
Ranita,
with best wishes

[signature]
A. Manguel
22.1.15
Submitted by:
Ranita Ray

Partisans

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Author: Alistair Maclean
Title: Partisans
Publisher: Fontana/Collins
Year of publication: 1988
Place of purchase: College Street, Kolkata
Purchase cost: Rupees 20
Ownership: Secondhand
General comments: On a day in autumn in 2013, while rummaging through the book stalls at Peary Charan Sarkar Street (College Street by lane), I was overjoyed to buy a handful of Alistair Maclean books each at 20 INR. In one of them I was delighted to find this.
Transcription of inscription:
Surajit Biswas.
Class-IX
1989.

Be never too young, never too old
always strong enough
to live and love and inquire
ever loving,
always kind.
May life share its many blessings
with you,
and may its burdens be ever light
The wind at your back,
the sun in your soul,
and our love in your heart
now and forever.
For you and your Daddy,
my heart ever yours,
my love and my life
yours forever.
Submitted by: Agniva Roychowdhury

Chalochitra, Samaj o Satyajit Ray Vol.1

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IMG_20170626_223953Author: Amitabha Chattopadhyay
Title: Chalochitra, Samaj o Satyajit Ray Vol.1
Publisher: Film
Year of publication: 1980
Place of publication: Asansol
Place of purchase: Golkpark, Kolkata
Ownership: Secondhand
General comments: I found this book while taking my usual stroll around the pavement bookshops near Golpark. This book is considered one of the first serious studies of Satyajit Ray’s films and won Silver Lotus at the 1981 National Awards ceremony. The transcription on the endpaper of the book suggests that this particular copy was gifted by the author to the actor Anil Chattopadhyay, who himself was part of three films by Ray.
Transcription of inscription:
শ্রী অনিল চট্টোপাধ্যায় কে
শ্রদ্ধার সহিত
– অমিতাভ চট্টোপাধ্যায়
১২/১/৯২

To Shri Anil Chattopadhyay
Respectfully
– Amitabha Chattopadhyay
12/1/92
Submitted by: Sarbajit Mitra

The Finkler Question

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Author: Howard Jacobson IMG_20170517_181429
Title: The Finkler Question
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Year of publication: 2010
Place of publication: London
Place of purchase: Allahabad
Ownership: Gift
General comments: Saranyo, aka Nino, was given this book by his friend Vasudha Pande whom he met while on a summer internship at Harish-Chandra Research Institute, Allahabad, in 2011. The Salman Khan-starrer Dabangg had recently been released, and, playing on the name of the film’s protagonist, Vasudha was quickly nicknamed first Pande ji, and then Bulbul Pande. Saranyo recalls that she bought him the book at “Allahabad’s only mall at the time.”
Transcription of inscription:
Nino,

Thanks for all the laughter, the
random/interesting conversations, and
the life lessons. I didn’t expect to find
a sibling so far from home.

I’m glad I met you.

Ever grateful,
Bulbul Pande.
(June 22, 2011)
Submitted by: Saranyo Moitra, via Shalmi Barman

Snowflake

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Author: Paul Gallico 20170422_105132
Title: Snowflake
Publisher: Michael Joseph
Year of publication: 1952
Place of publication: London
Place of purchase: Blossom Book House, Bangalore
Purchase cost: Rupees 50
Ownership: Secondhand
Transcription of inscription:
[inscription]
To a favorite uncle
from a favorite (he hopes!)
nephew. Happy birthday
on his ?th birthday
6-2-53

[stamp]
USL
WEEDED

[marginalia on first page] 20170422_105047
Poona
25 : 3 : 53
Submitted by: Vismitha

The Tibetan Book of Living & Dying

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Author: Sogyal Rinpoche IMG_20170422_204257
Title: The Tibetan Book of Living & Dying
Publisher: Rider
Year of publication: 2008
Editors: Patrick Gaffney, Andrew Harvey
Ownership: Gift
General comments: Found in the mixed collection of Meghna Nayak and her mother, Toopsi. Arijit Sett, who had gifted Meghna the book, was present and told Shalmi about how he had bought the book in a small town called Bylakuppe, near Mysore. Bylakuppe has a significant Tibetan community – Arijit had been there with a film crew in search of the grave of a woman called Dorjee, about whom very little is known except for her popularity in Poland. He bought this book from a bookstore outside a Tibetan monastery. Incidentally, Arijit said, he met the Dalai Lama in Dharamsala 6 months after this.
Transcription of inscription:
Dear Meg,
Hope this proves
to be an illuminating
read.
Love,
Arry
12/04/15
Submitted by: Meghna Nayak and Arijit Sett, via Shalmi Barman

The Story of a Shipwrecked Sailor

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Author: Gabriel García Márquez IMG_20170422_203201
Title: The Story of a Shipwrecked Sailor
Publisher: Penguin
Year of publication: 1996
Place of publication: New Delhi
Translator: Randolph Hogan
Ownership: Secondhand
General comments: Found in the mixed collection of Toopsi Ray and her daughter, Meghna. Toopsi says she bought this book secondhand to give to Kim, her husband at the time. The copy as she found it already had the first inscription. When her intended recipient didn’t seem to enjoy the book, Toopsi says she simply inscribed it to herself and took possession.
Transcription of inscriptions:
[primary inscription]
Happy Birthday
Shillong

[secondary inscription, lighter impression]
TOOPSIE
2007
Submitted by: Toopsi Ray, via Shalmi Barman

Like Water for Chocolate

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Author: Laura Esquivel IMG_20170422_202540
Title: Like Water for Chocolate
Publisher: Anchor Books
Year of publication: 1994 (first Anchor edition)
Translators: Carol and Thomas Christensen
Ownership: Gift
General comments: Found in the mixed collection of Toopsi and her daughter, Meghna. The “not the rest”, Toopsi observed, is very telling, given that this book was gifted to her by an admirer – “it[the novel]’s full of sex!”
Transcription of inscription:
T,
Soyou can try
the recipes, but
not the rest!
R

Submitted by: Toopsi Ray, via Shalmi Barman

A Cricket Odyssey

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Author: Scyld Berry
Title: A Cricket Odyssey: England on Tour 1987-88
Publisher: Pavilion Books IMG_20170403_151343
Year of publication: 1988
Place of publication: London
Editor: Foreword by Tim Rice
Place of purchase: Amazon India
Ownership: Secondhand
General comments: With photographs by Graham Morris. This book was acquired online by Arshdeep from an Amazon seller who specialises (he says) in secondhand sports books. Spotted by Shalmi in the School of Cultural Texts and Records.
Transcription of inscription:
Scyld Berry
Submitted by: Arshdeep Singh Brar, via Shalmi Barman

Cricket is My Life

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Author: Leonard Hutton
Title: Cricket is My Life
Publisher: Hutchinson & Co. Ltd.
Place of publication:
London
Place of purchase: Ebay UK
Ownership: Secondhand
General comments: I found this book while looking for secondhand cricket books at the Ebay UK website. However, finding a book autographed by Sir Len was too good to be true and I didn’t hesitate for a moment before submitting my bid. Sir Leonard was one of the finest to have graced the game and this signed copy of his autobiography will be a prized possession of my collection.
Transcription of inscription:
Len Hutton
Submitted by: Sarbajit Mitra
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