A doctor by profession, but a voracious reader at heart. In an up-close and personal chat with Rubina Ramesh, Arti speaks about her love for stories and how it was born. She keeps her passion alive and kicking by utilizing her commute time. Yes, she takes the metro to work and that is where she gets immersed into this wonderful wonderland of stories.
Rubina: What made you take up reviewing?
Arti: I love to read. I have been reading ever since I was a kid, maybe because we stayed at small town and had a handful of friends. And living in eastern India, the days used to be small, so our friends were books. Though, life became busy, I would still take out some time to read. It was in 2012, that a friend of mine suggested that I start reviewing books. I still remember writing my first review and telling her to read it.
Rubina: What is the one thing that makes you fall in love with a story?
Arti: The characters and the storyline both. There are some stories where the characters have kept me so involved that the story has taken a backseat.
Rubina: How do you manage to keep personal relationships out of your reviewing?
Arti: Initially, when I started reviewing, I would read books that would fascinate me and review them. Then slowly, I came across a few authors and started reviewing for them too. As far as personal relationships go, I try to be honest with both the reader and the writer.
Rubina: I see the number of books you review in a month! How do you manage it?
Arti: I take the metro to work, so I read both on the way up and down, Plus, I sometimes have to wait for my husband on the way back, so I read then. Once I finish a book, I try to review it asap, lest I forget.
Rubina: What does reviewing mean to you?
Arti: It is one way for me to disconnect with the world. It was only yesterday that my kids were not listening, so I moved to the guest room, with my book, finished it and then got back. My anger had dissipated and we started on a new note.
Rubina: Is there any moment when you knew you just could not review a book? Did you still go on or throw the book away?
Arti: There have been times when I was stuck. I remember one book which I did not feel like reading but out of courtesy I could not say no. I read it, with a heavy heart, and reviewed it half-heartedly.
Rubina: Many people thinK we reviewers review books for a free read. What is your take on this one.
Arti: No, I will not agree with this one. Because I for one cannot read a book, free or bought if it does not catch my fancy. And if I like a book, I don’t wait for the author/ publisher to contact me. I go ahead and buy it. And that is the reason, I have many duplicates in my book collection.
Rubina: One book that stayed with you. Why?
Arti: I love romance. But, there was this book by Arthur Hailey in our library, an old book, Flight into Danger. I read it after my class 9 th exams. And I don’t know how many times I read it. Somehow, the excitement just stayed. I have not been able to find that book.
Rapid Fire: (anything that comes to your mind when you hear these words :D )
a) Books: Romance, Mills and Boon
b) Authors: Sundari Venkatraman, Adite Banerjie
c) Publishers: Harlequin, Rupa
d) Reviews: Inderpreet Kaur Uppal
e) Amazon: Books Books Books