For the last one year or so, I’ve been relying on bloggers such as Tyler Cowen for my books recommendations. Basically I read about a book on a blog, or say Marginal Revolution does a book forum on the book, and I soon get interested in the book, and go out to buy it. And the fact that I’ve been fairly regularly winning book coupons at quizzes provides an easy financing for these books.
Some of the books that I have bought and read through these recommendations include Super Crunchers, The Black Swan and The Long Tail, all books that I have really enjoyed. Apart from this, I’ve bought and read books written by people whose blogs I read – and this includes Discover your inner economist and The Logic of Life. And I’ve noticed that in general, the books recommended in the blogs that I read are more enjoyable than the books writen by the bloggers themselves. Maybe this has to do with the fact that if I’m regularly reading someone’s blog, there isn’t that much value I can get from the book.
Now, my problem is that a large number of books that I want to read don’t have Indian editions. At least with “popular” books such as “Discover your .. ” the Indian edition came out in due course of time, and I was able to read them. Unfortunately, it seems like the market for a number of such books in India is so small that they don’t bother bringing out an Indian edition.
The gentleman at Gangaram’s book store told me that if I wanted, he would be able to procure the US editions of these books. However, the dollar rate, plus the $10 for shipping means that these books would cost me on an average, > Rs. 2000, which is much much higher than my willingness to pay which stands at Rs. 400. Again, given that US editions are typically much more expensive than Indian editions, asking a friend in the US to buy them (or ordering through Amazon) and sending it to me through another friend or something will again be too expensive. So I wonder what I could possibly do to read the books that I want to read.
Here are the books that are on my “want to read” list currently but I’m not able to procure them.