It’s already 2022 and just like the life resolutions, it’s another fascinating time for the readers to look out for what will trend this year. And it is natural to mention that with the pandemic and anticipated lockdowns still looming over humanity across the world, spending more time at home will certainly prompt more reading for the bibliophiles. While 2020 was all about ebooks and online reading, 2021 saw a boom in audiobooks and individual podcasts. However, this year seems to be like going back to the roots and picking up that one fiction with your favourite cuppa.
Fight of the biggies
There have been several researches in past that have proved that reading can help you keep calm and relieve stress. And many who haven’t been used to staying nose deep in books picked up one, either online or audiobook or the one lying on the shelf for years. Looking at the reading trends in 2022, the authors have different opinions. For instance, Nitra Prakash, author of the books like Dear, I Hate You, Letters To Mira and In the Name of Love, opines that reading as a physical book will always be an irreplaceable feeling.
“I think we have realised the value of books. There was a huge spike in ebooks and audiobooks, but now people are buying more books and they want to have that sense of reading on pages. We are going back to the old norms. This is the same with online education as well. Despite online classes and materials, students insist on hard study material so reading on printed books is irreplaceable,” says the author and Director of the Institute of Distance and Online Learning (IDOL) at Chandigarh University. Nitya has two new books, One Life (English) and Ek Tha Shayar (Hindi), releasing in the first half of the year.
On the other hand, Delhi-based author Maadhumita Mandal thinks that reading trends will follow a more hybrid model. “With the pandemic, people have tried all the modes of reading books and all have developed their preferences. Now the reading will be based on their choice. Readers will also consider money in terms of buying a book, so ebooks will remain as a preferred reading and audiobooks are still in the developing stage. But children’s books will be in physical format. Parents still want their kids to develop reading habits so that will not change for some time now,” says the author of the books like The Invisible Me and A Tale From Syria’s Heart that traces the journey of a young Syrian refugee girl’s struggles to protect her brother.
Ever since the pandemic started, various genres have persisted in the hands of the readers. From romance and fantasy to young adult, science fiction and pandemic, every genre found its place on people’s shelves.
Author and painter Era Tak feels that romance and science fiction will rule this year. “There is too much stress and people want to read something that transports them to some different place mentally and not add on to the stress so romance is always popular and will remain so in 2022 as well. Women on the other hand will still go for books that have strong feminist or women empowerment topics. Some readers will be drawn to books that are lighter or that otherwise allow them to forget about problems in the world while reading,” says the author of Raat Paheli and several audiobooks like RX Love 366, Risk @ Ishq, and Life Sutra among others.
Contrary to Era’s opinion author Vickram E Diwan believes self-help books will not sell much. “Fiction is a means to escape and will emerge strongly. Romance, mystery, detective fiction, true crime, horror in fiction will be preferred. In non-fiction, it will be political biographies and scandals,” says the author of Warlock: Valley of Death, which traces the roots of Indian tantrik activities that lead to the belief in paranormal events.
Top 10 books to look forward to
Rebel Against the Raj by Ramachandra Guha
100 Great Chronicles of Indian History by Gayathri Ponvannan
The Kailash Temple at Ellora by Tilottama Shome
Book Lovers by Emily Henry
Weather Girl by Rachel Lynn Solomon
Ambedkar a Life by Shashi Tharoor
Let Me Hijack Your Mind by Alyque Padamsee
One Big Blur by Manish Malhotra and Sonal Kalra
The Stories We Tell: Mythology to Make Sense of Modern Lives by Devdutt Pattanaik
City of Incident: A Novel in Twelve Parts by Annie Zaidi