Reader Interview of Veena (The Newbie) @ BYOB Party in Jan 2020

Was really excited to connect with Veena.

Tell us about your book journey.

My first memory of books goes back to my school library. I still remember browsing through the aisles after school and since my grandfather was an English Professor and one of the co-authors of the IBH Kannada-Kannada-English Dictionary, his house was filled with bookshelves that I would browse through during the summer holidays. One of the books my grandfather picked out for me was Anna Karenina. That has to be the first book that made a serious impact on me. I was fourteen when I read it. Books have always been a pastime, a comfort and a source of learning.

What are you reading right now?

Well, I’m trying to read Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse. What inspired me to pick up the book was its beautiful cover. It was a light and nice read but suddenly it has taken a strange turn. Her writing is sheer genius at times but I need to finish the book to understand where exactly it is going.

What’s your favorite show based on a book or a book series?

Okay, so some shows I know about are The Handmaids Tale (but I haven’t read the book yet), The Game of Thrones (I watched the whole series but haven’t read it) and Hobbit (You haven’t watched the movie? Go watch). I think shows like these are good for the fantasy theme as I can’t bring myself to read fantasy fiction.

Print books, eBooks or Audible?

I don’t have much experience with Audible. I do have a Kindle but I keep going back to books. It’s easier to refer and remember and maybe I’m not too used to the technology.

You teach Math. What books have you observed your students read?

Reading is not very common these days. I’ve seen a handful of students, usually girls, hold books. Boys are usually gaming or talking about gaming or the YouTube videos that talk about gaming! The books that students read are usually part of a series. Children do silent reading in English class but it’s not a huge trend the way it used to be when I was growing up.

Do you like Indian authors or global ones?

Right now, I’m in an Indian zone. I like to read books about the milieu I’m familiar with on a day-to-day basis. Before I started reading Shashi Deshpande whose work I had discussed, I was reading Gun Island by Amitav Ghosh, a book that surprised me as it was an absolute departure from his usual serious style.

I really enjoyed talking with you, Veena. Read on!

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