Indira has been to book readings but this was her first time at a BYOB Party. We asked her a couple of questions about her relationship with books.
Tell us about your book journey.
I was an early reader. I have memories of reading the newspaper and not understanding a word of what I read. I think I owe a lot to my father as he introduced us to the world of books, starting with Enid Blyton. He also introduced us to the classics by reading just enough to pique our curiosity and then telling us to read the rest on our own. We lived in Jharkhand back then and we had a library in our colony, which I loved.
English or vernacular?
Not vernacular, mostly English and translations in English, probably an accident of our upbringing and education at English medium schools.
What do you think of children’s reading habits nowadays?
The trend looks very encouraging. There are a lot more books available than there used to be. In fact, I pick up such a variety of interesting books for my granddaughter. All my children read and we discuss books. Children are definitely reading more. There are some parents who are discerning and there are others who prefer overly moralizing books. Schools are encouraging children as well. The library movement is picking up in a big way; many NGOs work in rural areas to maintain active school libraries, not just libraries that collect dust.
Which is your favorite book?
Tough question. Recently I read a non-fiction called The Growth Delusion by David Pilling, illuminating in its message that GDP is not the only indicator that tells the story of the economy. I’m a big fan of Isaac Asimov. And yes, a book I particularly love is Barbara Kingsolver’s Flight Behavior.
Print or eBooks?
Frankly, I prefer print books. I never took to Kindle although I must admit I managed to read Sir Terry Pratchett’s work on my phone. It’s advantageous to read books this way as there are no hassles of remembering to carry the book and you can read anywhere any time, even while waiting for a bus. It’s harder to read on devices as you grow older.
I still buy books though and then feel guilty about it. I love libraries too.
Thank you, Indira, for sharing your thoughts!