Eat your words

Updated: Jul 16, 2019, 07:35 IST | Shunashir Sen

An event at a co-working space will combine literature, and food that's part of famous books

Eat your words
Hitler Nadar (left) and Vivek Pandey at their respective stores

There is a certain charm in reading a second-hand book that makes it different from a spanking new title. The whole idea that someone else has flipped through the same pages you're reading, imbibed the same words you're engrossed in, and possibly felt the same emotions that are welling up inside you, builds a sense of attachment with a complete stranger that wouldn't be possible otherwise.

Such books also shatter class hierarchy. Not everyone has the financial wherewithal to purchase an expensive novel. But second-hand titles suit every budget, and given the wide range on offer at shops that sell them, these places are gradually fitting into the role of public libraries, which are finding it increasingly difficult to survive in the age of the Internet.

Mansi Dhanraj Shetty
Mansi Dhanraj Shetty

Now, an event at a co-working space will shine a light on three prominent second-hand book sellers from the city. It's called Twice Told. Organiser Mansi Dhanraj Shetty introduces us to Vivek Pandey, who operates out of a godown in Chembur and has a wealth of Indian literature at his disposal, and Hitler Nadar, a mild-mannered Tamilian who's a far cry from his terrifying namesake. Then, there is Afzal, a person who has access to all sorts of international titles since literature students who go abroad for their studies return to the city and dump their collection of books on him.

"We have also planned a dinner [by Savour Experiences] that re-imagines a story book into something that you can hold, feel and taste. It's a secret supper where people will find out about the dishes only at the event," Shetty says, adding that story-telling group Jasn-E-Qalam will perform four short stories by Hindi writers. That means that the event will combine literature in the form of second-hand books you can buy, inspired dishes you can dig in to, and performance art that you can experience, making it a multi-faceted affair for bibliophiles and foodies.

On July 19, 20 and 21, 10 am

At CoWrks, Century Mills, Marg, Worli.
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