Thursday, March 21, 2013

The Bookseller Who Cannot Read

Her name is Mary. She works in Chennai, India.

From a piece on Hindu Business Line...

Though the shop doesn’t have an address, Mary still receives couriers. And though she doesn’t know how to read, she digs out all the books her customers need – from 5th standard texts to engineering guides, law to Chartered Accountancy, test banks to crack IIT’s entrance exam, the GMAT and GRE to comics and classics.

“I am telling you Jeffrey Archer is not there!” She snaps at a customer who doggedly tries to sift through her mountain of books. She says that it becomes difficult to find books if people keep shuffling through them. She has become distrustful of her customers because even those who ‘look decent’ have stolen many of her precious books.

“Regular patrons who used to visit and buy a few classics every day are now long dead,” says Mary. “Now the demand is for comics, novels, school books and engineering books.”

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