Friday, July 29, 2005

‘Select’ celebrates festival of books

‘Select’ celebrates festival of books
Deccan Herald

The ‘Select’ bookshop in Bangalore has turned 60 and there’s a book fair to celebrate the occasion. Established in 1945, the Select Book Shop on Brigade Road Cross, is organising a week-long ‘Festival of Books and Arts’ at the Mythic Society Hall beginning Friday. Apart from books, talks and plays, the festival will also showcase paintings and photographs.

While the inauguration of the festival is slated for July 30 at 10.30 am, the book fair will be on from Friday. A book titled ‘Modern Reading — A Miscellany’ comprising 35 essays by eminent scholars and writers will be released on July 30.

A legacy of books built by Mr Kannim Bille Krishna (KBK) Rao from the pre-Independence days, Select had its initial moorings in Chennai and Kurnool before it docked at a small garage on Museum Road, just off the fashionable South Parade, as MG Road was called, in 1945.

The legacy was inherited by Mr K K S Murthy, an aeronautics engineer, during the mid 70s and the tradition has been carried forth with as much passion as was done by the founder. Says 70-year-old Mr Murthy, “My father’s collection was so famous that the first Indian Governor General of India C Rajagopalachari used to send a deputy to fetch some books from my father’s library. He even marked out my father during a visit to Kurnool for a function.”

Today, Select is one of few bookshops which has kept away from sale of pulp fiction and some of the latest best sellers doing the rounds. “We specialise in quaint collections — biographies and classics and the like,” says Mr Murthy. The ‘Festival of Books and Arts’ will go on till August 4, at the Mythic Society Hall on Nrupthunga Road. Ph: 25580770.


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