Booksellers of Mumbai

The Fine Art of Stacking Books in India – Unanswered is “How Do You Pull Out The One on the Bottom of the Pile?”

The average monthly profit at the stall, after rent, salaries, and other expenses, is about $511. U.S.  Their method of stacking allows them to jam in a huge number of books in a small space.  Notice that most of the books are trade paperbacks, which are “square”.  If you stacked hardbacks like this, because of the spines, all the books would soon be warped or “shelf cocked” as we say.  They would have to be put in a book press for a month to get them back to normal.

An improvement might be to have very thin ply board in between the stacks to keep the books in one stack from intruding  on the books in an adjacent stack, making it easier to pull out a book without snagging others that are adjacent.  Notice in the recently posted film “The Cardinal and the Corpse” that Driff has them stacked this way, (I call it the Mumbai Stacking System).  Notice that Driff has many hardbacks in his stacks.  Any other comments on this?

Tibetan Bookseller’s Story

Tsering Thondup Saved Rosicrucian Leader Raymond Bernard

Tsering Thondup

Tsering Thondup

Back in August, 2014 I was visiting Vajra Bookshop in Inglewood, California with my friend Julie Webster.  The main bookie was a Tibetan named Tsering.  On a previous visit he had shown me a letter from Dr. Raymond Bernard, thanking him for saving his life in In India.  I asked him to tell the story to Julie, and tried to film it with my malfunctioning iphone, but you can get the basics of it by clicking below on the video box.  Tsering, as well as being a bookseller, was an accomplished silversmith, and kept the shop going by working on jewelry repairs, as the book sales in Inglewood were not very good. He passed in the fall of 2015, so this is the only record of an incredible event, as young Tsering, then living in  Dharamala, the Tibetan community in India, literally carried Dr. Bernard on his back for 3 miles to a hospital, and then stayed there for a week to cook for him.  I’m wondering how many Americans would do the same here if they found a sick Tibetan on the street.  Just wondering……

The Beautiful old Vajra Bookshop in Inglewood

The Beautiful old Vajra Bookshop in Inglewood

Dr. Raymond Bernard, the French head of the Rosicrucian Movement

Dr. Raymond Bernard, the French head of the Rosicrucian Movement. Tsering carried Dr. Bernard on his back for 3 miles to a Hospital in India when he had collapsed from hepatitis.

Photo of Dr. Bernard from

Click on the box below to view the video.

Photos (except that of Dr. Bernard) by Paul Hunt and Julie Webster.

Uncle Paulie says:  Learn a lesson from this, don’t drink the water in India.  Or Flint, MI.