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Crossword, Hyderabad – Ill-stocked, Ill-organized, Ill-run

It all started with a gift voucher from Crossword I got for something or the other. Deciding to take advantage of it, off we went to City Center, where, suitably fed and glowing, I went into the aforesaid bookshop (Vidya cleverly slipped into Max to look at clothes, well knowing my propensity to take an inordinately long time in bookshops!). So I started looking around, trying to decide what I would buy, and in the process discovered that Crossword (at least the one at City Center) is one of the most pathetic bookshops I have been to in any city.

Picture this – they do not have a wildlife or a nature section! All I wanted was a copy of Grimmett, Inskipp and Inskipp’s bird book, as my Salim Ali seems to be hopelessly outdated and inadequate. After rooting about in the Science section for about a couple of minutes – that was all it required, as it had about six different books – I went to the chap at the counter and enquired, only to be told that after a search that they did not have what I wanted. Thus disappointed, I went back into the breech, just wanting to get something that would enable me to use my gift voucher.

Another disappointment was the toys section – it was ill-stocked and unimaginative, with even some of the usual top-sellers absent. So back I went into the Books section. After wandering desultorily for a while among the uninspiring stacks, and with a lot of help from Vidya, who had by now joined me after picking up some stuff at Max, I got these books:

1. A is for Alibi, B is for Burglar, C is for Corpse – a Sue Grafton omnibus
2. The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency
3. Tears of the Giraffe
4. The Full Cupboard of Life
5. 211 Things a Bright Boy Can Do

Even though I finally got a few books I liked, this was one of my most disappointing bookshopping experiences ever. The only redeeming factor was the brilliant espresso that you get at Brio, the coffee place within Crossword, which, at twenty bucks, is cheaper than Barista or CCD.

Overall, I wouldn’t go back to Crossword if didn’t have to, and Walden wins hands down in Hyderabad!

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