As the end of the month approaches, the ATM slips reflect far less zeroes than on payday. If you’ve re-read all your books so many times you can repeat the text verbatim, don’t fret. Getting your hands on new reading material doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg.
While it is impossible to buy books for Rs10, that doesn’t mean you can’t get any books for free. When you’re short on cash, borrow books from your friends. You’ll be able to get access to a variety of books across all genres from all of your friends. However, if you’re the one lending the books out, the Rs10 will undoubtedly be spent calling your friends and asking them to return their loaned offerings. Make the trek to the public libraries left in your city or check out the fiction books (which may be a limited selection) at your school/college/university library
Karachi’s Sunday Bazaar and old book stores stalls at Hassan Square, Clifton and Saddar have a large variety of books you can pick up for Rs100, including the classics (brush up on Jane Austen, Charles Dickens and Shakespeare), copies of old magazines (if you’re interested in filling out dozens of random quizzes) and even paperbacks of popular novels you may not have read or have misplaced.
While used books have a charm of their own - especially ones with random jottings in them! - there is nothing like buying a glossy new book and bringing it home to read. Liberty Books and The Last Word have a fantastic selection of books you can buy for less than Rs1,000. We’d recommend buying Alice Albinia’s Empires of the Indus (Rs895) which was published in 2008, and is a book that people are rediscovering in the wake of the floods that have hit Pakistan.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 30th, 2010.
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