PALAKKAD: Unlike other vendors, AV Sasi sells only those books he feels are worthy, and makes sure to read them before embarking on a sales trip.With a bag on his shoulder, Sasi has been in the profession for the past three decades. “For the first time, Covid has kept me home. Otherwise, I always go out in the morning and meet as many people as I can,” Sasi says.
The 53-year-old was a voracious reader during his college days, thanks to the neighbourhood library in Nagaripuram in Palakkad. If he has gained any respect, it is because of the great writers whose books he carries, he says. “But there were also incidents when I was turned away. I consider it an affront to the writers and not myself,” Sasi says.
His passion has also helped him develop personal relationships with writers like Sarah Joseph, T D Ramakrishnan, Balachandran Chullikkad, K R Meera and Rafeeq Ahmed. “I also possess personal letters from poet Kunjunni, Thakazhi and V Sambasivan,” he says.His area of sales is mostly in Palakkad, Malappuram and Thrissur districts.
Sasi has also written a book, Pakarcha — Nee Ariyunnu Vayanakaara. Its preface was written by actor, writer and social worker V K Sreeraman. More than 2,000 copies were sold out and he plans to print a second edition.“Sasi has devoted his life to books. That he earns a sustainable income to take care of his family by selling books and organising fairs is down to the quality of books he promotes,” says Sreeraman.