A Fine Balance; take two

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Hello all! You may have wondered whether, following previous comments and complaints, I may have given up this blogging malarky for good. Well, I can safely dispel those rumours and confirm that, to compliment my new ‘pressure off’ approach to life, I have spent the last three weeks in that most bewildering and bewitching of nations: India.

Sat here enjoying the first cup of instant coffee I’ve had in a fair while (withdrawal that is probably better for me than not!) I sit here reflecting on the superb time the boyfriend and I have spent trekking around the Himalaya (see pic above), meeting wonderful people, running away from monkeys and eating dumplings. I think my quest for relaxation is finally complete.

Although our time away gave me the much-needed opportunity to escape writing and reading responsibilities for a while, I certainly didn’t forget you all and I had one eye on the bookish world the entire time we were out there. As well as taking an entirely unnecessary number of my own books along with me, the subcontinent, as always, certainly didn’t disappoint on the literary front:

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DSC06629 (2)I have been reading and relishing in the lovely Geetanjali’s blog: Open a Book, for a couple of years now and always enjoy her enthusiastic and highly entertaining posts. A bookworm definitely after my own heart! After our first trip to India in 2011, I spied her posts on the humongous book market in Old Delhi that is held every Sunday. (Do check out her photos as they’re much better than mine!) This was obviously the first place I dragged the boyfriend to as we stepped off the plane. Stretching for miles along the dusty pavements of the Daranganj district, this famous book market is an absolute treat, with everything from gems to trash ripe for the picking, often at a mere 20/30p a pop. As market traders bulldozed their way towards their customers, leaving trodden merchandise in their wake, I longed to just dive headfirst into the bookish hillocks, behaviour that frankly probably wouldn’t have been remarked upon amongst the madness. Ah, Delhi, you do books well my friend…

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Shimla; the faded hill station that we used as a springing board to explore the mountains, also turned out to be a real bookish treat and went to prove a point that, no matter where you go, they’ll always be something you can find to read. The bookstores there were comforting indeed, with a comprehensive selection of whatever you might desire at prices you can’t quite believe. The only exception on the price front included the charming gentleman above; proprietor of Maria Brothers ‘Antiquarian Booksellers’. Many of the rare-looking and exquisitely dusty volumes in that treasure trove really did take our fancy but, upon enquiring and realising that these books cost many hundreds of pounds…well, let’s just say we realised we weren’t in the market for them and contended ourselves with window shopping instead.

In all it’s been a fine old bookish time. No dose of ‘Delhi Belly’ keeps this blogger away from book shopping, mark my words. We were very sad to leave this, our most favourite of nations, yet part of me is very very happy to see my rainy old English garden again…

One thought on “A Fine Balance; take two

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