Saturday, July 30, 2005

Select Book Shop turns 60 today

Select Book Shop turns 60 today

The Hindu

BANGALORE: Selling rare and unusual books collected carefully from different sources has been the business of K.K.S. Murthy, and this he does through Select Bookshop on Brigade Road Cross. The bookshop will turn 60 on July 30, a literary "shashtiabdhipoorthi" as their invitation announces.

The bookshop was started by his father, K.B.K. Rao, who got disillusioned with the world of law and turned his passion for collecting books into a business. He used to travel from Kurnool to Bangalore to pick up books at auctions and this caught the attention of E.J. Robertson who too frequented such auctions. Mr. Rao was offered a garage on Museum Road where he started his bookshop.

One of his sons, K.K.S. Murthy, turned out to be a book lover as well. Trained as an aeronautical engineer, he went to the U.S. to work for Lockheed where too he chased rare books. He spent vacations visiting bookstores all the way from the banks of the Seine in Paris to county libraries in the U.S. and collections sold near the British Museum in London. In the mid-1970s Mr. Murthy entered the business just before his father died, and he has been at it ever since.

Select's clientele over the years has included personalities such as the former Archbishop of Madurai, the young British intellectual connected with the Communist Party of India, Philip Spratt, and scientist C.V. Raman.

Frontline called his enterprise "one of the finest antiquarian bookshops in the country" and NDTV featured it on "Tonight." Customers frequenting it in recent times include Yusuf Arakal, Girish Karnad, Ramachandra Guha and N. Ram. Occasional visitors include author Ruskin Bond, who has been coming to the Select since the 1960s.

Bond once wrote: "Booksellers should encourage browsers. Sooner or later most of them will become book buyers. And it was in Select that I became a collector of picture postcards."


Post a Comment

<< Home