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The New Odessey at Adyar – Review

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Well, with opening of the newer, bigger and much more spacious odessy at Adyar, we can all derisively laugh at the nungambakamites for flaunting their bookstore landmark, or so we think. Now, hold your horses because the new store at adyar isn’t all that it claims to be.

I have allways loved the odessey book store. My connection to this particular store goes back to my days of a being tottering little twerp with a fascination for tin-tin. It was always a book store that I could spend my entire day in and not know time fly by. But I am dissapointed with the new one. It might be bigger and they might play hipper music, but ironically for a book store it claims to be the collection of books is severly impoverished. The fiction section though does seem to hold a lot of interesting books is comparitively smaller and holds a smaller colection of authors. But all hope is not lost, as you can get your regular doeses of sidney sheldon and other such pedestrian works if thats what your taste is. And the likes of me (capitalist pigs??) I can be happy with Ayn rand. But apart from a booker here and pulitzer there, the fiction section isn’t really enticing. The classics section holds well the classics, not much you can do there.

Enter any bookstore and my inner geek takes control of my brain and leads me straight to the computer section. This time it was no different, and I am happy to say that this section did hold a few suprises for me. As it seems with other sections the collection strength has reduced considerabily and unfortunately the guys who do the selection for the books are hopelessly ill-informed, going by long gone hypes and not what seems to be around. The pointy haired boss of dilbert comes to mind. The usual Java/C/C++/.Net was leading in terms of head count with my favourite java book so far in its latest avatar – Core Java 2, 7th Edition taking up a prominent place on the rack. Followed by perl (yuck!), web stuff (your XML,JS,PHP) and assembly language!!. yep, you did read that right – that was the first surprise. There were actually a couple of good books on programming in assembly for the x86 series and they weren’t in the bargain section either. Seriously is there even demand for these books? what were these people thinking.

But the biggest surprise came with the fact that Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs (SICP) was nicely tucked away in some corner. wow! Thats a pleasant surprise, though there is very little market for such books it was still there and thats good to see. Too bad it was slightly above my price range, but I am pretty sure that the book is gonna stay there for sometime so I needn’t exactly worry about it. The kids section is pretty good and they’ve got a nice collection of toys and all the comics I could ever dream of. They have totally revamped this section and thats something this place is really good for. Kids, Kindergardeners and etc. and yeah there is tin-tin and calvin and hobbes and I can go on. But I guess you’ve all figured out that I am drooling here so I will stop and go back to the catenkerous old cynical critic that I am.

The stationaries section is huge, well stocked with a whole lot of thingamagicks which I could utterly find no use for. There are the usual files, notebooks, color pencils and other painting stuff that rich kids buy once, wet it and throw away, but there isn’t anything thats really useful there – except maybe for the pens section. I atleast found the 0.7 Black I was always looking for. Now I can go back to drawing comics – yummy. As far as the music section goes, guys go to music world. I am not a music afficionado but I know enough to know that this collection here is poor.

So overall, the only thing thats available in plenty in this place is space. yeah. Space. its bigger and more spacious, thats all.. and yeah they play hipper music too, or did I mention that already. I would give it a modest 2.75/5 (and thats just for the comic section and the hipper music!).

Signing Off,

Vishnu Vyas.

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Written by vishnuvyas

November 13, 2005 at 1:54 pm

2 Responses

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  1. I have most of the SICP videos on my hdd downloaded from the MIT website, anyway thanks for the link.

    Vishnu Vyas

    November 23, 2005 at 4:59 pm


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