Debdatta or DDS as I think of her read my first novel The Destiny of Shaitan and gave it an amazing review. To an author trying to find her voice she was the proverbial lifeline I clutched at to navigate my way through the shark-infested-waters of fast-ebbing writerly self-confidence. I survived.
And went on to write The Many Lives of Ruby Iyer, in no small part thanks to incredible reviewers like DDS who saw the tapestry I was weaving. I was fortunate to meet DDS not long ago.
In a world where adults bemoan the lack of reading in the new generation, DDS stands out like a shooting star. She is passionate about reading.
So passionate, she quit her job—you heard me right— to … R.E.A.D.
Yep – she is a dream come true for authors like me. She actually reads … and reviews. And she reads ’em fast. Last year she read 260 books. Whew!! It came as no surprise to me to find she now holds the Limca Book of Records for most book reviews in India 😀
DDS reminds me of why it’s so important to follow your passion. She is living proof that if you simply do what you love to do… well the rest will come. So simple, yet so difficult.
Check out her interview here in my Inspirational Avatar series—
|DDS – holds the Limca Book of Records for Most Book Reviews
A. How do you feel when you read?
I don’t think it is a feeling I can describe. It is my passion. I live the lives of the characters I read about. Its often invigorating, refreshing and sometimes sad. But the overall experience of going through so many lives is inexplicable. You have to live it to feel it.
B. Why the goal of reading x no of books in certain days?
Reading Challenges always motivate me to read more and that is afterall, all I ever wanted to do.
C. What stories are you partial to?
I love any story, irrespective of its genre, that has a good plot and solid characters. But Satyajit Ray, Agatha Christie and Enid Blyton are the ones that really got me into reading and so mystery/thrillers will always be my go-to genre. And even after 23 years of reading, I often relax with my collection of “Feluda”, “Poirot” and “Famous Five”.
D. Is reading on the decline in the world? ( and in India)
That seems to be the popular opinion what with the different gadgets that lure today’s kids. But the fact is that people are reading more – whether its thanks to J.K.Rowling or Chetan Bhagat (did I just take those two names in the same sentence?!!), kids and adults are reading more. Plus, the e-readers have opened up a whole new reading generation. I know people who never read before are now picking up the juicy romcoms for entertainment. Harry Potter on the other hand opened up the world of fantasy to a lot of people like me who previously thought that magic was for kids.
E. What is the role of commercial fiction in a reader’s journey?
Commercial Fiction is probably the most popular genre. It is what gets people into reading and keeps them continuing. At least 55-60% of what I read can be categorised under commercial fiction. So, I would say it plays a pretty important role and mostly shapes up a reader’s reading habit.
F. The role of eBooks vs printed books in a reader’s journey?
eBooks are convenient – one can carry as many books while traveling, of course it saves space and is cheaper… But for a true bookworm print books will be the go to. The smell, feel of the printed words on a page and the feel of holding a print copy is irreplaceable.
G. How do you discover new books?
I have a few go to blogs that I check out often for their reviews. Besides, there’s always Goodreads. I also browse, read blurbs and chapters off random books at a bookstore.
H. What made you finally move from working a job to reading full time. The incident which tipped you over.You have to understand that when people of my age were busy studying for better grades and dreaming of high flying careers, I dreamt of a time when I could just read for days and don’t have to do anything else. So when my job pressure was so much that it took me 10 days to read one book, I simply quit my job. It was that easy for me thanks to a VERY supportive husband.
H. The one thing you want to do: have done before you die?
I want to visit and travel all over Italy… Every nook and corner.
Debdatta Dasgupta Sahay has been blogging about books and authors at http://www.b00kr3vi3ws.in/ since Feb 10, 2012 and as of June 30, 2014, she had posted 387 reviews. The first book she reviewed was The Postcard Killers by James Patterson. She has conducted 70 author interviews too