'I like reading and understanding the journey of successful people,' says 'Udaan' actor Vijayendra Kumeria

When did you get into reading? School or college or later?

School. I have always been fond of hearing Mahabharat stories recited by my grandma. And, that's how I developed a love for reading stories and later on my interest in different genres increased.

Which are your favourite book(s) and authors?

There are quite a few. Recent one that I read and really liked is At The Helm: The Memoir by V Krishnamurthy. Lately, I have read a lot of biographies and autobiographies from various authors. A. P. J Abdul Kalam's books top my list. I like reading and understanding the journey of successful people, who have made an impact in the world in the little ways and opportunities they had.

Which genre do you like reading?

It has to be autobiographies and biographies. And few of the books I liked from this genre are: At The Helm: The Memoir, Becoming by Michelle Obama and Wings of Fire by A. P. J. Abdul Kalam with Arun Tiwari.

How do you take out time for reading amidst a busy schedule?

I got some time during the lockdown to catch up onto reading. When we are working it’s not possible to read every day, but then I make it a point to read at least a few pages every week.

How many books do you read in a month?

Realistically talking, with the crazy shoot hours, it's one book a month. During school and college days, I would finish three-four books a month.

Where do you get book recommendations from?

If it's bestsellers, then it's people around me or social media as it inadvertently becomes the most-talked about on all platforms — that's how I found Ikigai by Francesc Miralles and Hector Garcia. Or it's my shopping expeditions at bookstores; I tend to glance through their bestselling shelf.

Do you prefer ebook or physical book?

Physical book, because I enjoy the feel of the pages and it's easy to handle. Ebooks are hassle—they strain my eyes, and adjusting the font size, etc is a pain at times.

What are you currently reading?

21 lessons for the 21st century by Yuval Noah Harari.

Special bookish memory you would like to share?

My grandmother reading out versus from Bhagavad Gita and stories of Mahabharat to me.

Book adaptations (films/theatre/TV) you have watched and loved...

Have watched Chetan Bhagat's book adaptations in Bollywood. Then a couple of Hollywood films Like The Notebook, The Room, The Fault In Our Stars. Many times several plot details of a book can't be fully adapted in a film. And if you have read the book and then watch the film, you start comparing the two, and end up not enjoying film.

Classic (one or more) you haven’t read but claimed to have read?

I don’t claim to have read a book if I haven’t. You don’t get any smarter in front of other by doing that.

Any vintage or first editions on your book shelf?

None. But I would definitely want first editions to few of my favourites.

Have you ever saved money to buy a book?

Not really. I have been lucky enough to be able to afford the books I want to read.

If you are asked to choose three books from your bookshelf, which would those be?

At The Helm: The Memoirs, Bhagavad Gita, and any of the autobiographies. I think one gains a lot of wisdom after reading Bhagavad Gita.

Book/Books you would recommend to our readers? Why?

The two mentioned above and of the autobiographies/biographies I mentioned earlier.

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