Resh Susan has been a book lover since the time she was a kid. She is someone who enjoys long conversations about bookish things over tea/coffee. When many of her close ‘book-pals’ moved out of the city, she found herself hoping there was a way she could talk more about books. That is how The Book Satchel shaped up, as a place where she could talk with books, write about them and help her followers discover some new ones.
Here is our editor Himanshu Goel in conversation with her.
Q. The photos you click are absolutely gorgeous, for someone’s who just starting out with Bookstagram or reviewing books, what’s the secret to capturing great book photos?
Thank you very much. There is no secret except letting yourself indulge in lots of trial and error and horrible pictures that help you learn from your mistakes. It is always helpful to know the direction of your light and shadows; so that can be a secret ingredient to getting a good shot.
Q. What do you think is the best way to get introduced to a new book – stumbling upon it in a store, finding it online or something else?
Personally, I have discovered new books through recommendations from friends. I would love to come upon a new book and author at a book store and discover a favourite. That hasn’t happened yet. After I became more active on Instagram and blogging, I have discovered authors whose books I would not have picked up otherwise. The knowledge and reading routines of many readers out there is spectacular and needless to say very inspiring.
Q. The Shorts section on your blog is quite unique and interesting, tell us a little bit about the shorts and what made you start with them?
I love short stories because they are perfect to read between short breaks. Each story would only be a few pages long and they are the best for short commutes and busy readers. I was unable to get short story recommendations for myself and that is when I thought I can write about the ones I read so that others who might have been searching for something similar, would find it helpful. I had started Shorts with the intention of showcasing favourite short stories recently published in magazines. Later it evolved into a place where I showcase short story collections.
Q.What themes and stories do you notice in Indian literature in the last few years? (Feel free to mention authors and books)
I have seen a rise in books published in the romance genre from India but I have not read them since I do not enjoy the genre. Other than that, I feel the newer Indian books have made an effort to make the setting and characters as close to reality as possible. I find more relatable characters that are distinctly Indian and less stereotypical. I have enjoyed Jerry Pinto (especially Em and the Big Hoom), K. R. Meera (her novellas are short, sharp and full of punch), Vivek Shanbhag (Ghachar Ghochar, translated from Kannada, is a favourite book of 2017) and Diksha Basu (The Windfall was light, funny and a relaxing read) in the recent years.
Q. What can we expect from Resh Susan in the near future?
I have no idea! I am a person who works on my intuition and I have even been known to make decisions on an impulse. So I am waiting to surprise myself with what is next.
Don’t forget to check out The Book Satchel and dive into the world of books.