Since this year has been special to us at Bookhad, we are doing something to sign off 2013 in style. When we thought about it, the only thing that seemed pertinent was to put our readers – the Bookhads – the people hungry for books, in the spotlight. And that’s why we’ve done just that! We’re giving the general reader a mic. Yes, the reader, not the writer or the critic or the next-door trooper who gets his 15-minutes of fame. We believe, the ardent, loyal reader is the reason why literature is what it is. Up first, we are in conversation with a passionate reader who shares her opinion on everything books.
Reader Bio: Utkarsha Kotian, a 22-year old Media graduate, currently pursuing her Master’s in English Literature. She is a compulsive reader and has no particular genre that she prefers reading, though she absolutely detests self help books. By her own admission, she says, “I speak a lot. A lot, by the way.”
Utkarsha, describe why you read.
Reading is an escape into a land much better than the one you’re currently in. At least for the most part, it is. I’ve learnt honesty, courage, my sense of morality, oration, articulation – all of them from books! Being a voracious reader also has perks of being a social outcaste. It’s the easiest way to shun company and no one thinks you’re rude! You’re just a well read genius that way. 🙂
But very seriously, I read because I am curious. “Why?” features more often in my conversations than I would care to admit. When people could not answer, the books did. I read because I want to know.
Which, according to you, is:
Best book you’ve read this year:
This has to be the The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera. Though tedious at first, it’s wonderful!
Worst book you’ve read this year:
Umm…I’d say I was hugely disappointed by The Oath of the Vayuputras by Amish.
Book that you resolved to read this year, but did not:
Is the book I resolve to read since the past many years – Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez! I can never get myself to read it.
Most overrated writer:
I think every writer is a genius, every book is labour in itself. However, I think Rhonda Byrne, the author of The Secret, would be one. Then again, I detest self-help books! 🙂
Most underrated writer:
Most Indian authors who write in regional languages are highly underrated, mostly because of lack of access to English readers. But yes, the same books, if in English, would be beautiful!
Best book-movie adaptation:
Harry Potter! They not only bring the books alive, but also add SO much to what we know of the characters.
Worst book-movie adaptation:
Eragon? What was going on in the movie?!
If a book were to be written about your life, what would you title it?
How to perfect the act of procrastination and other stories.
If you could change the end of one book, which book would that be? What would you change the end to? *Spoiler Alert: Skip question if you haven’t read A Thousand Splendid Suns.*
Though I understand why the author wrote it was so, but I would want Mariam to live at the end of A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini. I think Laila would have a mother figure, and a guide through her new life with Tariq. Also, I think Mariam deserved a nice and happy family life.
What are you currently reading?
I am reading The French Lieutenant’s Woman by John Fowles, a book I started in February this year, but was unable to finish. I am now starting all over again.
Suppose a book came to life and you could be a character from that book; which book and character would you like that to be?
No matter what, even if I were to be Mrs. Norris, I’d want to be in the Harry Potter series. The books were a turning point in my life, and I really wish I’d get to live it all over again!
Do you have a booklist for 2014?
Yes. Roughly, Ashwin Sanghi’s books to know what is it, exactly, that people are raving about, Love in the Time of Cholera obviously, Tagore’s short stories and Mahasweta Devi’s short stories for children, Amitav Ghosh’s Ibis trilogy, something by Orhan Pamuk because I’ve been wanting to read him for long, and a Chinese author by the name of Xinran who’s books I’ve been trying to locate for a long time now. Obviously, that’s not it!
Have you read a book that has made you want to travel/time-travel? If yes, which book and where would you like to travel?
Again, you must be bored to hear this, but to Hogsmeade. The idea of living in a town where students from Hogwarts visit on weekends is too tempting to pass on. But I’d be lying if that were the first or only one. As far as I can remember, I was always interested in the world of Charles Dickens. Though the only thing that scared me were the laws regarding children in London!
Give one word/phrase for:
- Historical fiction: In fashion
- Online reading: Convenient
- Libraries: Heaven?
- Non-readers: Fictional people
- Shakespeare: Entertainment!
- Non-fiction: Effort
- 50 Shades of Grey: Meh
- Self-help Books: Meh
- Bookhad: Fun!
A quote that you would like to part with…
I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library. – Jorge Luis Borges
That’s Utkarsha, an avid reader, pouring her opinion. Do let us know in the comments what you think. If you would like to be featured here, drop us a mail at firstname.lastname@example.org with a line on why we should feature you.