Maanvi Gagroo
Maanvi Gagroo

Early start: I have been reading since childhood. I used to read a lot of story books and comics and then moved on to slightly more adult fiction. And I want to thank my parents for inculcating the habit of reading in us.

Favourite book: It’s hard to choose one favourite book the way it’s hard to choose one favourite film. But one book that I can think of right now is Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes...it's a well-written piece of work.

Favourite authors and genre: Again it’s hard to choose but I’m a huge Gabriel García Márquez and Haruki Murakami fan. For me, good writing is something that introduces a new thought or re-introduces an old thought in a new or different way.

And both Marquez and Murakami bring these elements in their writing (even though their works are translations). My favourite genre would be drama or anything about human relationships, struggles, sufferings and triumphs...I like reading such books. And one book that I think belongs to this genre is Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez.

A book a month: When I’m shooting it’s easier to read because there’s a lot of waiting time on the sets so I end up doing a lot of reading then. I’m also trying to cultivate this habit of reading for an hour or at least a chapter before going to bed at night. This year I’ve decided to read one book a month...that’s a challenge I’ve taken just to make sure I’m disciplined in this zone.

Book buys: I get book recommendations from either friends or book clubs I follow on Instagram or people that I follow on Goodreads. Also, whenever I come across a new book I read up about it online to see if it is something that would interest me and if I like it I add it to my to-read list.

Feel matters: I would definitely choose physical books over e-books. I like the feel of the page in my hand. There's a different feeling altogether of using a bookmark, holding the book in my hand or putting it on my lap then setting it aside, looking out of the window to have a cup of tea or coffee...it's very romantic. Or at least that's the idea I have grown up with and I like it that way.

Currently reading: 1Q84 trilogy by Haruki Murakami

Magical bookish memory: This was about time the Harry Potter books were releasing in India...I was in school then. I remember there was this store in Aurobindo market in Delhi which used to be the first one to get the Harry Potter books in all of Delhi or may be even a day or two after the UK and US release.

My friends and I used to make advance payments and have our names on the waiting list. And on the day of the release of the book, we used go early in the morning before school to the store, find the shop shut and spend the whole day discussing it in school. Once school was over we used to run to the store to get our copies.

Fave book adaptation: Revolutionary Road. The book was so poignant it moved me in many ways. And the performers in the film, the director just took it a notch higher and added value to the story.

Remake it: There's already a film made on Bridges of Madison County which starred Meryl Streep and Clint Eastwood. But I feel the movie didn't bring out what the book stood for. The conflict described in the book wasn't presented as clearly in the film.

At least to me reading the book was a far more visceral experience as opposed to watching the film. You think it would be easy for the film to do that but it wasn't. So I would like for that film to be made again and made well, and do justice to the book.

Vintage on my shelf: I don't have a first edition but my dad had bought To Kill a Mocking Bird when he was in college. He had made notes in the book... something that I cherish.

Gift me a book: I have never saved money to buy a book. But I have a list of books that I want to read and when anyone asks what gift I want, I hand them over the list...my Goodreads list is quite well updated that way.

Best of three: The Harry Potter series, Sense of an Ending and Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi. I haven't heard many people talk about this book and I want every reader to pick this one up without judging the book by its title or cover.

Must reads: Brave New World by Aldous Huxley and 1984 by George Orwell. These books speak about two different worlds and two different systems, but the approach and conflict in the story is the same.

I would also recommend Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari and Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay. The last book highlights certain truths about the female gender and how it is treated across the world or has been treated over the last few centuries. There is a sense of universality and yet there is a lot of difference. It's sad, but heartening to read that.

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