Hey, I'm Raghav, and I am a voracious reader. I love reading all types of books (well, almost all types) and have even co-founded a successful Twitter book chat. Ask Me Anything!!!

Raghav Modi
Jun 14, 2017

What can I say, I love to read and then talk about what i've read. Although I grew up reading Enid Blyton, I never got into the habbit till much later (late teens), but ever since then, whenever I get a chance, a moment of free time, I pick up a book, a magazine, an article, and start reading. Over the years I have tried to stay open about various generes and can proudly say that now, I will atleast give any book a fair chance (a look at the cover, read through the blurb, and skim a few pages) before discarding it. Ask Me Anything about books and what I have read. 

And if you want to check out our Book Chat on Twitter titled The Sunday Book Club ... then follow www.Twitter.com/TSBookClub

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I'm so possessive about my books that I have employed the likes of Deadpool, TMNT, Batman, Darth Vader, Joker, Dexter, and even Paddington Bear to protect my collection.

Don't Believe me?

See the proof...

TMNTVaderDexterBatmanPaddington

Last edited @ Jun 14, 12:35PM EDT.
Jun 14, 12:26PM EDT0

Hey there, we're talking books today. Go on, Ask me Anything!!!

Jun 14, 11:54AM EDT0

What are some good tools for tracking your reading?

Jun 13, 5:07PM EDT0

Hey Thomas,

I’m not getting paid for saying this but Goodreads does the trick for me. Personally, I just like to keep a record of whatever I have read, but Goodreads gives you a lot more options such as tracking what and how much you have read plus more statistics like what percentage you have read etc. It’s a nice little website with an App that I recommend to all book readers.     

Jun 13, 11:36PM EDT0

Thank you!

Jun 16, 5:56AM EDT1

How many volumes are in your own book collection?

Jun 13, 5:03PM EDT50

Hello,

I believe by volumes you mean how many books I have in my possession?

I guess the number keeps changing because I often giveaway some or others get borrowed never to be seen again, and although I have never counted, it would be around the 300+ mark I would say.    

Jun 13, 11:33PM EDT41
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How do you compare the experience of reading a novel with watching a film?

Jun 13, 1:03PM EDT0

Hi Carla,

For me movies and books are two completely different mediums with positives and negatives of their own. A book relies a lot on the imagination of the reader and also how well he or she is able to understand the point being made by the author. Then, reading a book also is more intimate because you hold a book, it requires a lot more understanding, and you need to give it all your attention.

Films, while an equally important medium, take away the imagination aspect. Now, a film watcher has a set picture in their mind of how a character looks like. If they read the book afterwards, they will keep thinking about the character being similar to the one in the film.

Films often also take the liberty to change the content of the book in the name of artistic freedom. But, films also bring stories to a wider audience, and help them relate to it easily. Not everyone can be a reader and a film can thus bring the worlds created in books to life.

The best example I could think of is that I never got around to reading Lord of the Rings and were it not for the movies, I would never have known about the brilliance of Tolkien.   

Last edited @ Jun 14, 10:34AM EDT.
Jun 13, 11:32PM EDT0
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What do you think of kids' programs that encourage reading books by quantity?

Jun 13, 10:32AM EDT34

Hi Christopher,

I think any program that encourages reading in children is good. I can understand that sometimes going by quantity over quality might not be the best route to take, but when it comes to reading, the more you read, the more a person is able to develop a habit and probably have a wider outlook by reading diverse topics which in turn should peak their interest.

My own daughter is a fast reader and she reads more books that I do, and many a times I wonder if she’s focused on finishing more books not spending enough time understanding them, but at the end of the day, the more she reads the better her habit of reading gets and once she is older I am sure she will start paying more importance to the words and understanding the subtle nuisances of the stories.

Jun 13, 11:27PM EDT34
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What is your view on reading in digital or paper format?

Jun 13, 8:50AM EDT0

Hello,

Touchy topic!

I do have to be honest and say that I love technology and have a couple of iPad, a bunch of iPhones, a Kindle (which in my defence my daughter bought), but when it comes to books, I’m extremely old fashioned and love them in the paper format.

The whole digitalization of books I think now is on its way down, and we see more and more bookshops reopening. I’m also a huge advocate of independent bookshops by the way.

I was lucky because when books went digital a lot of people got rid of their physical collections in the process and I have some cool second hand books as a result.

Right, so yeah, I’m not a fan of the digital format because I love to hold a book in my hand, flip through the pages, and let’s face it, if there was a fly bothering you, you wouldn’t use a kindle to whack it... but if you had a book, you probably could.  

Last edited @ Jun 14, 10:36AM EDT.
Jun 13, 9:02AM EDT0
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What books first piqued your interest in reading?

Jun 13, 1:17AM EDT15

Hi Jamie,

Although I grew surrounded by a lot of Enid Blyton – Famous Five, Secret Seven – I was never into reading. My interest in books started in my late teens when I was in college and a couple of books that stand out from that time are;

 English, August by Upamanyu Chatterjee

The Beach by Alex Garland

Sphere by Michael Crichton

Bringing Down the House by Ben Mezrich

Jun 13, 8:37AM EDT15
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Have you ever belonged to a subscription book club?

Jun 12, 8:32PM EDT0

Hi Michael,

No, never been part of a subscription book club. I actually thought about starting a book box at one time, but never got around to doing it.

I do find the idea quite nice, but my only problem with subscription boxes is that one never knows what they are going to get, and I can be really picky at times when it comes to books.

Jun 13, 8:39AM EDT0

What are the most successful book-to-movie instances?

Jun 12, 2:08PM EDT10

Hey,

I think Watchmen as a movie was well done considering how difficult a subject the graphic novel is. Then there is Perks of Being a Wallflower, which I think is a better movie than the book so the transformation is pretty good.

In most cases, movies fall a little short of books, but there have been some really nice adaptations – Breakfast at Tiffany’s – that stand out from time to time, but not always because of the story. Sometimes, it is the acting and the stars that make the movie a success.  

Jun 13, 8:41AM EDT22
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What makes a book a page-turner for you?

Jun 12, 2:01PM EDT0

Hi Bobby,

An interesting story, well written, be it fiction or non-fiction, has kept me awake on many a nights.

Whenever there is an element of suspense in the book, that usually keeps me going, and sometimes the language is so beautiful that you can’t help but read on.   

Last edited @ Jun 14, 10:38AM EDT.
Jun 13, 8:42AM EDT0
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what are your favorite topics when it comes to books?

Jun 12, 10:06AM EDT0

Hey Arv,

I’m pretty open to most genres, but I do enjoy a good murder mystery or stories that have an element of psychology to it. Character that are different from the norm otherwise if there is a hint of noir, that intrigues me.

Other than that, travel is a big draw and I enjoy reading about journeys both locally or internationally. It’s always interesting to see how different authors place importance on different aspects of the journey.

Since I am a die hard foodie, most books related to food - not cookbooks - are of interest as well. 

I’m a huge advocate of graphic novels and feel that they cover a multitude of genres and I usually pick them up whenever I find one even moderately interesting.    

Last edited @ Jun 14, 10:39AM EDT.
Jun 13, 8:45AM EDT0
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What qualities or traits make someone a voracious reader?

Jun 12, 10:03AM EDT0

Hi Cory,

An open mind, the will to pick up any book whatsoever and give it a try is the most important characteristic of a voracious reader. It doesn’t mean that they should read anything or everything, just that they can’t have too many preferences or a set mind on what they like.

Another aspect of a good reader is that they crave reading and if they have a little free time, be it while commuting or waiting, they should want to read something – a magazine, an article, a book. That inner need to read usually leads to one becoming a voracious reader.      

Jun 13, 8:49AM EDT0

Do reviews influence your reading lists? What do you look for in a book review?

Jun 12, 10:03AM EDT0

Hey Avantika,

Yes and No.

Actually wait... it should be No and Yes.

In most cases reviews don’t mean anything to me. If I am planning to buy a book, then whatever the review is, I shall buy it and read it.

However, what reviews do is give me something to look up. I have picked up many books after reading their reviews, but I don’t believe that the review itself influenced me into buying that book.

The reviews work as in introducer, a pandit if you may, who makes me meet the book, but whether that marriage will happen or not, is up to me (I know it’s one sided, but the book can’t do much unfortunately).      

As for the review, it should tease me, give me just enough to whet my appetite to go and read the blurb of the book or a few pages. I can’t stand reviews that go into in-depth analysis of the characters or the story, because as is the case with most art forms, everyone has a different opinion.

Jun 13, 8:53AM EDT0
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How has your book chat evolved over the past years??

Last edited @ Jun 12, 9:42AM EDT.
Jun 12, 9:41AM EDT0

Hi Ishita,

TSBC started as book chat taking place once a week for an hour. Now with over 8000 members we have a weeklong celebration of books where we do polls, or give recommendations, or find out what everyone is reading. We try to involve the readers as much as possible and do events that not only encourage readers to move out of their comfort zones but also discuss their opinions and thoughts about authors and books.

In the perfect world, with more hands on deck, and more time, we would have loved to do so much more – Podcast, Book Box, Books on train etc – but we seem to be comfortable where we are right now.

I feel we are always evolving, even when nothing new is happening; there are talks taking place between the founders of what can be done next. Sometimes things take time and we don’t mind taking it slow.

Jun 13, 8:57AM EDT0
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How big of an impact did Oprah's book club make?

Jun 12, 8:43AM EDT0

Hello,

A very interesting question; I think the answer would depend on where in the world you were. In the USA, I believe getting listed in her book club means the sales of the book sky-rocketing. Here in India, while we may get wind of it, I don’t think it has that much of an impact unless that book is easily available and also not too expensive.

Oprah is a worldwide phenomenon and her opinions have a certain weight, so there will always be some impact, but take my example for instance, I have never bothered to look at the books recommended in her book club, nor have I ever picked one up blindly just based on her recommendation - unless it really interested me.

From the point of view of an author, there is no doubt that being considered in the book club is a big deal.  

In terms of book clubs, what the Oprah Book Club did was get other celebrities to do the same, which is to start book clubs of their own. Obviously none have been as successful, but as long as it gets people to read, I see no harm in any of this.

Last edited @ Jun 14, 10:42AM EDT.
Jun 12, 9:22AM EDT0

What book genres seem to be most popular today, and why?

Jun 12, 8:40AM EDT0

Hi,

I think YA is quite popular as is dystopian fiction. Maybe everyone is scared and unsure about the future of our world, which is making this more of a reality than a fantasy and thus people are getting interested.

Another trend that doesn’t seem to go away is memoirs. People in their 20s are now writing their memoir which to me is ridiculous, no matter what one has achieved in their lives.

Lastly, history as genre has picked up both in the fiction and non-fiction categories and I for one is enjoying reading about the past. Takes my mind off worrying about the future.

Jun 12, 9:14AM EDT0
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Is there any genre of books that you refuse to read?

Jun 12, 8:23AM EDT0

Hello,

No would be the correct answer to that.

There are books that I might not like after reading their blurb, but as a genre I cannot discard anything. I do go through phases where I will read or not read something, but eventually, in time (and that can be years), in all probability, I come around to reading that genre again.

These days though I have been off romance and poetry, but again that’s not to say I will never read a romantic novel or a poem.

Jun 12, 9:11AM EDT0
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In your opinion, what author writes the most convincing dialogue?

Jun 12, 7:59AM EDT0

Hey Melinda,

Truman Capote comes to mind. I’ve always been mesmerized by the way he goes about with his words making his characters pop out of the books based on how they behave and talk. He remains one of my all time favourite authors.    

Jun 12, 9:00AM EDT0

In your opinion, who is the most underrated and overrated Indian author? 

Jun 12, 7:00AM EDT0

Hey,

Oh that’s a tough one.

Overrated? Kunal Nayyar. I know it’s an easy way out because he isn’t really an author but he did write his “memoir” which, well let’s not spoil our day talking about it.

Underrated? Ummmm... I’m lost for words because I can’t think of an author that people wouldn’t know about. There are many who have written excellent books but then that’s it. It’s like they come and then disappear. So once again, calling them authors would be wrong unless they write something else.

Oh! And in case you thought I would mention Chetan Bhagat, I’m pretty neutral towards his writings. He might not be the best but I also feel that he isn’t overrated.

Jun 12, 9:08AM EDT0
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