Monday, January 25, 2010

Browsing For Science Books On A Sunday

Bookstores in Pune don't have a big science section. I wandered into Crosswords yesterday and found the science section almost bare.

It was mostly filled with large picture books, some travel books and a few major titles.

Richard Dawkins new book on evolution The Greatest Show On Earth was on the shelf... But what is that book below it.... The Selfless Gene..?  I thought his other famous book was the Selfish Gene...

...never mind.... that is The Selfless Gene by Charles Foster. What an odd title to stock given the plethora of choices..

During my graduate and work days in the U.S. the big bookstore was a kind of a refuge for me after work. Evening scrabble with friends and browsing through Economist and Scientific American saw many evenings through.

My buying method has been to browse books in bookstores and then on online and buy what I like. Usually in bulk. Hey now...that wasn't unethical was it..?.... the spectacular amounts of coffee and hot chocolate I drank at the bookstore cafe more than made up for my lack of buying books there...

I haven't been spending any time at all in book stores in Pune.

The science section is poor and the cafe which served good coffee and yummy chocolate cakes shut down at Crosswords some time back.

That gives me very little motivation to go back there.


  1. hmmm - yes, fairly slim and strange pickings indeed! And what is "God does not play dice" doing there? The author is a vociferous anti-evolutionist; and, googling the book, I find a predominance of Indian websites - any idea of the reason for this???

    Good luck with your browsing!

  2. Many thanks for noticing my book in Pune. It's not at all a strange title, in fact. The book is mainly about the evolution of altruism and community, and the ethical problems associated with assuming that all biological complexity was generated by competition and waste.
    All best wishes.
    Charles Foster

  3. Hi Charles- i am sure it is a good book. I was just having fun at its chance placing just below Richard Dawkins book.

    Michael--Science sections in Indian bookstores are often a mix of not so science collections to. no idea what the connection is between this book and Indian websites..:)

  4. Have you checked out Landmark opposite Dorabjee?That and Manneys are the best places to get books..Crossword is going steadily downhill..
    Happy browsing!

  5. Sumita- the old Manneys used to be my favorite bookstore, not any more... also they don't have a good science collection..will check out Landmark ..:)

  6. You said it...It seems to be the least popular shelf in most of the book stores...!!