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It’s been over 40 years since SA Govindaraju sold his car and filled his 300 square foot garage with books. Today, the store tucked away in Chennai’s RA Puram has transformed into a space for book lovers in the city. Called Rare Books, the shop has around 5,000 rare volumes, newspaper clippings and even advertisements, some of which date back to the 17th century.

“Some of them are as old as Madras itself,” Govindaraju says with a smile on his face referring to his valuable collection. The former employment law consultant says he enjoys collecting books, magazines and advertisements on temples, history, culture as well as works of fiction. Many of its collections relate to the city of Madras, as Chennai was once known, and its history. “There are a hundred books here that are over a century old,” he says. Most of the books are in English.

As part of an eco-friendly initiative, Southern Railway has distributed 857 hand-held terminals (HHTs) to traveling ticket examiners (TTEs) across six railway divisions to replace the paper cards currently in use, officials said. The move will also allow passengers to get real-time information on vacant seats at stations en route, officials said. As cancellation details are sent hourly to HHTs, fraudulent trips can also be easily detected, they pointed out.