STAR Library, Hazratganj

STAR LIBRARY: Does anybody re-collect it? No? OK.. here goes.

There is a lane between the GIC/Beg Building and the Kayson’s building.. this lane starts from Hazratganj and joins Newal Kishore Road. Star Library was a shack, at the starting of the lane (Hazratganj side), with a very good collection of second-hand books, comparable to Hobby Corner. The shack was airless, dimly lit and the owner was a taciturn, unsmiling bloke, with a no-bargain policy. Unlike HC, which had a systematic, if rather weird pricing policy, Star’s pricing was totally arbitrary, and depended on the owner’s mood, as well as one’s personal relations with him. So what was so unique about this rather unpleasant shop? The unique thing was: the owner would take out his entire stock and spread it on the pavement in front of Kayson’s/Modern Silk House/Bata on Sundays!! There, one could browse, fidget, dawdle, and generally have fun, un-hampered by the close environs of the shop. Star was a favorite of the oldies, as compared to HC, which was a haunt of the young crowd, especially school kids.

With time, Star suffered its set backs.. another shack close-by, dealing with school uniforms prospered and moved out into mainstream Hazratganj. One day, Star and its stock of books vanished all together.

My association with Star was limited. But yes, I bought my first two Hadley Chase novels from Star: “There’s Always A Price Tag” and “You’ve Got It Coming”. These novels formed the nucleus of my JHC fascination… and gradually I built up the entire collection of JHC over the years, which culminated into the launching of the first and only comprehensive website on JHC in 2004. Now I am considered to be an authority on JHC, getting mails and queries from all over the world, from authors, researchers, film producers and readers, all about Chase. I try to answer as best as possible. I am no authority on Chase, but yes, I do know a lot about him and his works. And I am prepared to share my knowledge, to perpetuate the memory of this great, if somewhat underrated author.

And it all started on a lazy Sunday afternoon, with STAR Library… May the taciturn owner of STAR find peace, wherever he is…

You can visit my JHC site at:

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