Treasure In Old Books

By: Bilal Hussain

From the olden days, the book is considered the best companion. Today, life has turned so fast and busy that people rarely find time for book reading. The old practice of reading for pleasure is slowly but surely ending in the local cultures, the foremost reason is the phenomenal economic inflation.

Prices of both hardbacks and paperbacks have risen to such an extent that a middle class person now finds it difficult to afford new book. In this situation, secondhand books are not less than a blessing.

Secondhand books are typically sold on pushcarts that can be seen in queues at the roadsides. Books on every subject are available. Students, particularly, have the greatest benefit.

Secondhand books become available on the market when they are sold or given to recyclers or used book sellers.

They are usually sold for half or three-quarters of their original price. However, rare books and others still in demand might sell for more than their original price.

“Often, publishers and printers put their old stock on sale on half or little more the price of what they were published for.” says Ameer Ali, an old trader of secondhand books at Old Campus area.

Though original authors or publishers don't benefit financially from the sale of used books, yet it helps to keep books in circulation. Sometimes very old, rare, first edition, antique, or simply out-of-print books can be found in the dusty stocks.

Anyway, used books act as a magnet for book lovers. From children to intellectuals, a number of different people with different tastes frequently gravitate towards used books.

People who are fond of books say that the secondhand book sellers are fulfilling a social duty in times of worst inflation.

The business is being carried on the internet too. Usedbooks.com.pk is Pakistan's first website to sell and buy used books online.The sellers of secondhand books have to face certain problems in acquiring space for sale at open roads, while during rainfalls, they are extremely troubled.

To install proper markets, like in other cities, they need a little government support. A support to this trade will mean a support to literacy.