A collection worth reading

Prized possession

A collection worth reading

The printed world has fascinated Kamal Jit Singh since childhood. “Whenever I went to Shanker’s Doll Museum, tiny books enchanted me every time.”

That fascination translated into a passion as the child grew up, and today Kamal’s collection of magazines and newspapers contains 5000 newspapers, 1500 magazines and 1000 books!

“The oldest book that I have is Geetanjali, a 1943 edition by Rabindranath Tagore, and the oldest magazine is a 1955 September issue of Reader’s Digest while the oldest newspaper is an edition of HT dated June 03, 1989.

My magazines include First City, Life Positive, Society, Week, Sunday, Illustrated weekly, Sun, The Sunday Indian, Outlook, India Today and many Osho periodicals like Osho Times, Osho World, Yes Osho etc,” says Kamal about his collections.

Last year, Kamal was mentioned in the ‘India Book of Records’ for the largest private collection of magazines. His love affair with magazines started when he was young and the colourful photographs caught his attention.

Kamal, who is a property consultant, says he does the rounds of the markets in Darya Ganj, Lajpat Nagar and Kamla Nagar scouring for interesting magazines to add to his collection.

“I have kept all the periodicals systematically date-wise packed in transparent sheets. I also have covered almost all the books, neatly with transparent sheets. Most of my books are philosophical, biographical and spiritual. People generally sell newspapers and books to kabaris. But I feel that is a disregard,” says the collector.

“I also invite journalists, authors, reporters and scholars to see the changing face of journalism and writing and how language, writing style, paper quality has also changed over the years. They also come and see how literature has evolved and reached different heights. Many historical and important events are hidden in my collection. Internet, I feel is secondary to my collection,” adds Kamal.

How does he manage them all? “It is not an easy job to keep them all. But my passion has kept me going. My record for the largest private collection of magazines was approved by the IBR team in 2012 and appeared immediately after its official website was launched and then mentioned in their edition 2013.

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