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Buy now; supplies are limited

Are you one of those people who can't put a value on the knowledge acquired from reading books? Then a new literary effort by Ritu Beri may be, shall we say, worth your while. You'll pay more for it than you would for most other books. But then, within its covers are discussions of such weighty subjects as history, art, architecture, photography, the world of fashion, Paris, and - oh, yes - female beauty. If the name sounds familiar, it's because Beri is an internationally acclaimed designer who has dressed such celebrities as film star Nicole Kidman . The tome, her first, is entitled "Firefly, a Fairy Tale," and Beri insists it is not autobiographical, although it's based on her own experiences as she worked her way up through the ranks of the fashion world. She told a launch party in New Delhi earlier this week that it was commissioned by the Penguin Group, although the publishing house ultimately backed out of the deal and she took over responsibility for its production herself. As a result, only 100 copies will be shipped to stores, one of them the Louis Vuitton salon in Paris. So what's the price, for goodness sake? Ah ... $2,200, reportedly making it the most expensive book in Indian history. But if the first printing sells out, she has promised that the next press run will be cheaper.

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