Attending a book auction in New York, K.K.S. MURTHY remembers how his father had built up a stock through auctions in India.
Though I had seen book auctions in Bangalore, the way it was conducted in New York was very different and quite complicated. The auctioneer received ever so many phone calls from different parts of the country for certain types of books, especially detective novels. Titles by writers like Ellery Queen, Dorothy Sayers, H.R.F Keating, Jacques Barzun, P.D James and several others were in excellent condition; some were limited editions with the author's inscriptions. Books in the auction were quickly sold to the highest bidder.
It was an unusual experience to be in the midst of excited bidders. As it was an enormous hall, I could not closely follow the method through which some bidders were deemed successful. However, my attention was on those bidders who were interested in detective fiction. The auction came to a close as I was trying to discover the successful candidates. I looked dazed and was sitting next to an American lady, a successful bidder. She asked if I was from India and which part of the country etc. When I answered her, she invited me to see her shop the next day.
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