Greetings, esteemed readers of News Saphire! Today, we are thrilled to present a captivating encounter that delves into the heart and soul of the literary realm. It is with great pleasure that we bring you an exclusive interview with none other than Bibliophile Talks, a luminary in the world of literature.
In our continuous quest to illuminate the minds of our readers with knowledge and inspiration, we couldn’t resist the opportunity to sit down with this esteemed individual, who has been instrumental in fostering a profound appreciation for books, ideas, and the book reviewing.
Bibliophile Talks is not just a mere pseudonym; it is a persona that embodies an unyielding passion for books and a profound understanding of the magic they hold. As an Editor at News Saphire, I must confess that this interview has been a long-cherished dream come true for our entire team.
Through this candid conversation, we seek to unravel the mysteries of a bibliophilic mind, exploring the boundless imagination, the journey of literary enlightenment, and the impact of literature on our lives.
What drives Bibliophile Talks to be so deeply devoted to the written word? How do they envision the future of literature amidst an ever-evolving digital landscape? What are the timeless pieces of literature that have left an indelible mark on their soul? These are just a few of the intriguing questions we aim to uncover in the pages that follow.
An Interview with Samayara Singh from Bibliophile Talks
Tell us about yourself, How did you develop your passion for books, and what inspired you to become a book reviewer?
Hello! I’m Samayra Singh, a nature enthusiast and a passionate reader. My deep love for books eventually led me to the world of blogging, and that’s how bibliophiletalks.in came into existence nearly 2 years ago. I typically have a strong affinity for books that have a philosophical touch.
The curious person in me has made me an avid reader. I was very inquisitive about the things around me since childhood. And my mother always encouraged me to ask more and learn more. Since my mother is also fond of reading books, she always encouraged me to read books. Both my parents were members of the book library, so they got me a monthly subscription to 3 children’s books, and that’s how I started my journey as a reader. I remember the names of the books, Champak, Nanhe Samrat & Nandan. These were my monthly subscription books; it was around 1994-95 when I was barely 7- 8 years old. So, my love for books is very old.
I was deeply in love with books, in fact, I am, and I always will be, I guess 🙂 Books provide me with a sense of peace and comfort that I can’t find anywhere else. Some may think it’s odd, but to me, books are like living things. They listen to me and offer answers when I need them. I become deeply upset when I can’t find one of my books, it’s as if I have lost a close friend. I am truly fortunate to have had the support and encouragement of my parents throughout my life. And now I have a supportive husband, who always encourages me to read more.
As an enthusiastic reader, I find immense joy in diving into books, always eager to explore more. Before making a purchase, I make it a point to carefully go through the reviews on various platforms such as Goodreads and Amazon. Initially, I read the book summary to gauge its potential, followed by perusing the reviews.
However, I’ve noticed a pattern that leaves me disheartened. Often, the opinions in these reviews don’t align with my own experience after reading the book. It’s disappointing to encounter such biased reviews. This realization led me to a decision – I want to contribute honest reviews for readers like me, ensuring they won’t be let down by misleading feedback.
This idea gave birth to my blog, where I aim to provide genuine reviews. I firmly believe that just because a book has a low rating doesn’t mean it’s not worth reading. Every book caters to different types of readers, and it’s essential to find the right match. Hence, I always strive to offer a thorough review with my honest feedback, ensuring the right book finds its way into the hands of the right reader.
What do you find most rewarding about being a book reviewer?
My favourite thing about being a book reviewer is being able to explore a diverse range of literary genres. Every book I read exposes me to different genres, ideas, and writing styles, broadening my horizons. Reviewing books allows me to connect with fellow readers and spark meaningful discussions about the books we enjoy.
I also find it extremely rewarding to know that my reviews are helping other readers in their book choices. Recommending a book that deeply resonates with someone or introducing them to a hidden gem brings a sense of fulfilment. It’s a privilege to contribute to the literary community and play a small part in helping people discover their next great read. Ultimately, the joy of being a book reviewer lies in mutual appreciation for literature and sharing that passion with others. It’s a rewarding experience that continuously inspires me to explore new books and keep my love of reading alive.
As a bibliophile, what elements do you consider when selecting a book to review?
To be honest, my primary source for purchasing books is usually Amazon, mainly because of its extensive selection. When browsing for a book, the first thing that catches my eye is the book cover. Once intrigued, I delve deeper into the book’s details, starting with the summary and genre. Then, I move on to reading the reviews.
In the review section, I tend to focus on the 1, 2, and 3-star ratings. I find these reviews helpful in understanding what aspects of the book didn’t resonate with readers. While the 4 and 5-star reviews are generally positive, I find the lower ratings give me insights into the book’s potential drawbacks or elements that some readers didn’t enjoy.
By combining this information, I can gather a well-rounded understanding of the book and decide if it’s worth reading. If I feel that the book still appeals to my interests despite its criticisms, I’m more inclined to give it a try.
How do you approach the task of reviewing a book? Could you walk us through your process?
When it comes to rating books, each reviewer has their own set of criteria, making it challenging to determine how good they perceive a book to be. For some, a 3-star rating may be considered excellent, while others might regard it as subpar.
Furthermore, reviewers’ tendencies to grant 5-star ratings vary.
When I assess a book, I take several factors into account, including the author’s writing style, the story’s originality, the predictability of the plot, its memorability, emotional impact, plot direction, character development, historical accuracy (if applicable), how it compares to other books in a series (if a sequel), reading time and engagement, genre expectations, and whether it conveys a strong moral message.
I employ a 5-star rating scale, incrementing by 1. After finishing a book, I ask myself if I would recommend it. If the answer is affirmative, I begin rating it at 3 stars or higher. Conversely, if the answer is negative, I start with 1 or 2 stars. For instances where a book falls between two ratings, and I can’t confidently choose one over the other, I may utilize half-stars.
My reviews are unbiased; for instance, even if I greatly admire an author or have a favourite author, I won’t let that influence my assessment of their new work. Each book is judged on its own merits, and if a particular book falls short compared to their previous works, I’ll give it an honest and fair rating, reflecting its true quality.
What do you believe distinguishes an exceptional book from an average one?
An exceptional book stands out from an average one due to several key distinguishing factors like Unique and Original Storytelling, Engaging Writing Style, Complex and Well- Developed Characters, Skilful Pacing and Tension, Innovative Ideas, Impressive Character Growth, Memorable and, Unpredictable Plot Twists, Timeless Relevance etc.
Overall, exceptional books possess a combination of innovative storytelling, well-crafted characters, thought-provoking themes, emotional depth, and memorable writing that sets them apart, leaving a profound impact on readers and earning a special place in literary history.
How do you handle the challenge of providing objective reviews while respecting the work of authors?
The most challenging aspect of reviewing a book is striking a balance between offering constructive criticism and respecting the author’s hard work and dedication. Authors invest significant effort and time into their creations, and it is essential to approach their work with sensitivity and appreciation. When I write a critique about a book, I take considerable time to carefully choose my words, ensuring that the author doesn’t feel offended.
In my reviews, I tend to focus on writing a review in a positive way. It doesn’t mean that I avoid mentioning the cons, but rather, I strive to present them in a way that allows readers to understand my perspective on the negative points without causing offence to the author.
Ultimately, my aim is to provide an insightful and fair review that respects the hard work put into the book while helping readers make informed decisions about their reading choices. I firmly believe that by offering constructive feedback with respect and appreciation, we can foster a healthy dialogue between readers and authors and contribute positively to the literary community. Handling the challenge of providing objective reviews while respecting the work of authors requires a delicate balance of critical analysis and empathy. As a reviewer, my aim is to provide honest and constructive feedback while acknowledging the effort and creativity the author has invested in their work,
Are there any particular genres or types of books that you prefer to review? If so, why?
Absolutely! As a reader, I have a particular affinity for reading books in the suspense thriller genre. The reason for this preference is deeply rooted in my love for captivating and adrenaline-pumping stories. Suspense thrillers have a unique ability to keep readers on the edge of their seats, constantly guessing and eagerly turning the pages to uncover the next twist or revelation.
Additionally, suspense thrillers offer ample opportunities for thought-provoking discussions about human nature, morality, and the psychology of the characters. Their ability to evoke a wide range of emotions, from intense fear to breathless excitement, makes them incredibly compelling subjects for reviews.
Can you share a memorable experience or encounter that you’ve had as a book reviewer?
Honestly, as a reviewer, I haven’t come across any specific memorable moments yet as I started my blog only 2 years ago. However, I have been fortunate to receive a tremendous amount of admiration for my work as a book reviewer. Prominent authors have generously expressed their appreciation, which has been incredibly uplifting and inspiring.
Furthermore, the encouragement and support from my fellow readers have been heart-warming. Their words of praise and love for my work are deeply gratifying, and I am truly grateful for their kind words of appreciation.
While I may not have encountered standout moments as a reviewer, the recognition and positive response I’ve received as a reviewer make my journey in the literary world exceptionally rewarding. The support and encouragement from both esteemed authors and fellow readers fuel my passion for reading and motivate me to continue writing book reviews.
With the rise of online platforms and social media, how do you see the role of book reviewers evolving in today’s digital age?
In the dynamic landscape of today’s digital age, the role of book reviewers is undergoing a profound metamorphosis, largely fuelled by the emergence of online platforms and the pervasive influence of social media. These technological advancements have presented a double-edged sword, offering both challenges and opportunities that have revolutionized the way book reviews are conceived, disseminated, and accessed.
First, the accessibility and reach of book reviews have witnessed a seismic shift. With online platforms and social media at their disposal, reviewers now possess the means to transcend
geographical boundaries and connect with a vast global audience, amplifying their impact manifold. Second, real-time interaction has become a hallmark of the digital age. Reviewers can engage in immediate and dynamic discussions with authors, fellow reviewers, and readers, fostering a vibrant exchange of ideas that enriches the reviewing experience.
Furthermore, the digital age has enabled direct author-reader engagement, nurturing a more intimate connection between creators and their audiences. Authors now have unprecedented access to reader feedback through online reviews and social media, leading to a deeper understanding of readers’ preferences.
The rise of a global book community has also emerged as a hallmark of the digital age, uniting book enthusiasts from all corners of the world. This cross-cultural exchange broadens the spectrum of books reviewed and fosters a sense of literary camaraderie among diverse readers.
How do you balance your personal reading preferences with the expectations of your audience when selecting books to review?
As a book reviewer, striking a balance between my personal reading preferences and meeting the expectations of my audience is of utmost importance. While I have my own unique interests and literary tastes, I recognize the significance of catering to the diverse preferences of my readers. It is an ongoing journey that demands flexibility and empathy.
Being authentic to my own reading experiences while staying attuned to my readers’ interests is a guiding principle in my reviewing process. I strive to create reviews that not only engage but also resonate with the diverse and vibrant book- loving community I am fortunate to interact with. By embracing this dynamic approach, I can provide valuable insights and recommendations that cater to a wide range of tastes and preferences. Ultimately, my goal is to foster a sense of shared enthusiasm for literature and create a meaningful and inclusive space for book lovers to explore and discuss the captivating world of books.
Do you have any strategies or techniques for effectively conveying your thoughts and opinions in a concise and engaging manner in your reviews?
Absolutely, I have honed various strategies and techniques to express my thoughts and opinions concisely yet captivatingly in my reviews. Here are some key approaches that I find helpful: Structuring the Review, Highlighting Key Points, Balancing Summary and Analysis and most important Avoiding Spoilers. My aim is to deliver reviews that are both engaging and insightful. Above all, my ultimate goal is to offer valuable guidance and ignite the passion for reading among my audience.
Are there any specific book recommendations or hidden gems you’d like to share with our readers?
Absolutely! I’d be thrilled to share some book recommendations and hidden gems with your readers. Here are a few titles that have left a lasting impression on me;
- The Power Of Your Subconscious Mind by Dr Joseph Murphy,
- Who Will Cry When You Die by Robin Sharma,
- Olive Green To Beauty Queen by Ankita Srivastava and
- Tuesdays With Morrie by Mitch Albom.
For fiction Lovers
- An Unexpected Gift By Ajay K Pandey,
- Before The Coffee Gets Cold by Toshikazu Kawaguchi and
- Hindu Refugee Camp Lahore by Sachin Garg.
For Romance Lovers
- The Off Limits Rule by Sarah Adams,
- The temporary roomie by Sarah Adams.
For Thriller Lovers
- Sunset Of Blacks By Anand Krishna Panicker,
- A Thousand Kisses Deep By Novoneel Chakraborty.
These are just a few of the remarkable books that have touched my heart and mind. I hope your readers find as much joy and inspiration in these stories as I did.
What advice would you give to aspiring book reviewers who want to pursue a career in this field?
For those aspiring to pursue a career as book reviewers, the journey is paved with the joy of literature and the responsibility of shaping readers’ perspectives. To thrive in this field, several key pieces of advice can guide and elevate their reviewing prowess.
Firstly, the mantra of “Read Widely and Diversely” serves as a compass, steering reviewers to explore literary realms beyond their comfort zones. By immersing themselves in diverse genres and authors, they cultivate a rich understanding of writing styles and can cater to a broader audience in their reviews.
Authenticity stands tall as an indispensable virtue. Embracing honesty in opinions and experiences fosters trust with the audience and forges the path towards becoming a credible reviewer.
In the quest for growth, aspiring reviewers must wholeheartedly “Engage with the Book Community.” Interacting with peers, authors, and readers in discussions enriches their literary understanding and fosters invaluable connections.
Consistency and dedication serve as pillars of success. Reviewers must commit to regular posting schedules, as they sow the seeds of their reputation through their unwavering passion for books and reviews.
Remember that building a career as a book reviewer takes time and dedication. Keep refining your craft, and most importantly, never lose your passion for reading and sharing the joy of books with others.
How do you stay up to date with the latest book releases and literary trends?
To stay up to date with the latest book releases and literary trends, I employ several strategies. Firstly, I regularly follow reputable book review websites, literary blogs, and online book communities where avid readers and critics share their thoughts on new releases and upcoming publications.
Secondly, I stay connected with social media platforms like Twitter and Instagram, where authors, publishers, and literary influencers often share news about their latest works and literary happenings. Hashtags related to book releases and current trends are particularly useful for discovering new titles.
Furthermore, I make use of online bookstores and e-book platforms, where new releases are often featured prominently.
What are your future aspirations or goals as a book reviewer?
Ideally, I would like to improve my skills and expand my influence in the literary community as a book reviewer. Key goals include becoming a trusted voice by providing insightful and unbiased reviews, diversifying reading preferences to connect with a broader range of readers, engaging with authors and readers through various platforms to foster discussions, collaborating with publishers to amplify reviews and reach a larger audience, improving critical analysis for informed recommendations, launching a dedicated platform for reviews and literary discussions.
In short, my aspirations as a book reviewer would centre around fostering a deeper appreciation for literature, guiding readers towards remarkable books, and making a positive impact on the literary community as a whole.
Could you share a bit about your educational background and how it has influenced your journey as a book reviewer?
I was a science student and completed my engineering in E&TC (Electronics and Telecommunication) and MBA in Information Technology. To be frank, I don’t believe that my educational background has directly influenced my passion for book reading. Instead, I think the curious nature within me has made me an avid reader. In simple words, I love to read, and you will always find me engrossed in some form of literature, whether it’s a fictional book or educational material or any magazine or news article whatever I mean.
During my student days, I was quite a bookworm, reading voraciously. For instance, if I came across an interesting incident that happened somewhere around the world, it would trigger my curiosity, and I would embark on a research journey (hahaha). This means I’d read everything related to the incident, including its context, the country it occurred in, the reasons behind the occurrence, the country’s traditions, and information about its people – essentially diving deep into all aspects surrounding the event.
My thirst for knowledge and my innate curiosity have shaped me into a passionate reader. Regardless of the type of book, I find joy and fulfilment in exploring diverse topics and expanding my understanding of the world.
What role have books played in your personal life? Are there any specific books or authors that have had a profound impact on you?
Books have played a significant role in my personal life, shaping my thoughts, broadening my horizons, and providing a source of inspiration and solace. They have been more than just a means of entertainment; they have been a window to different worlds and perspectives, helping me grow as an individual.
I cannot attribute these changes to a specific author, but certainly, there are books that have significantly altered my perspective on various situations. Among them are “The Power of Your Subconscious Mind,” “Who Will Cry When You Die,” “Tuesdays with Morrie,” and “The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari.” I often find myself recommending these books to others due to their profound impact on my thinking.
Can you describe a typical day or week in your life as a book reviewer? How do you manage your time and commitments?
As a book reviewer, I adhere to a strict schedule to fulfil my commitments effectively. At the beginning of each year, I set a reading goal and create a well-structured reading calendar, So, right from the beginning of the year, I already have a predetermined schedule for when I will be reviewing each of my books. Furthermore, I buy books in bulk, usually around 15-20 at a time. This way, I can easily align them with my review calendar. As a result, I have an advance schedule for my book reviews every 2-3 months, which helps me plan my reading and reviewing efficiently. This approach provides me with a clear overview of how much time I should dedicate to each book, ensuring that I can deliver my reviews punctually without any delays. Moreover, this organized approach helps me strike a balance between my personal life and my passion for reading, ensuring that I can manage both aspects of my life harmoniously.
How do you strike a balance between your professional life as a book reviewer and your personal life? Do you have any hobbies or activities outside of reading and reviewing books?
As mentioned earlier, adhering to a well-organized routine and maintaining a strong sense of discipline allows me to effectively manage my time and fulfil my commitments as a book reviewer. Self-discipline and time management are key factors in balancing my personal and professional life in this role. One thing I ensure is that I don’t read during weekends; those two days are entirely devoted to spending quality time with my family. Although my primary passion is reading, I also indulge in other hobbies, such as art and crafting. When the reader inside me takes a break, the artist within emerges, creating various artistic pieces like personalized calendars using memorable pictures, travel journals, and physical book journals.
What do you enjoy doing when you’re not reading or reviewing books? Any interests or passions that might surprise your audience?
I have a great affinity for watching Asian dramas. To be honest, I don’t watch Indian serials or movies; in fact, I can’t even recall the last time I went to a theatre. During my higher studies, I resided in the hostels, which led to my disconnection from television around two decades ago, and I haven’t returned to Indian content since then. As a result, I find myself drawn to Asian dramas (mostly Korean & Japanese) which have become my preferred choice for entertainment. so yep, this is another passion you can say.
Additionally, my love for K-Dramas has inspired me to learn the Korean language (hanguls), adding to my list of passions beyond reading. Previously, I had started learning Russian (because I love to listen Russian music), but unfortunately, I had to leave it midway due to my college commitments.
I am a fitness enthusiast, and I prioritize my fitness routine by dedicating specific time slots for it. My day begins at 5 am, and I kick-start my morning with an hour of cycling, followed by either walking, jogging, or yoga. In the evening, I devote another two hours to indulge in evening yoga and a workout session. Staying committed to my fitness regimen brings me joy and keeps me energized throughout the day.
How do you stay motivated and inspired to continue reading and reviewing books, especially during times when you may feel overwhelmed or uninspired?
To stay motivated as a book reviewer, I employ various strategies. These include remembering the joy of sharing insights with readers, exploring diverse genres for fresh inspiration, setting realistic reading goals, and engaging with the book community. I also find inspiration in book-related content like interviews and podcasts and take breaks when needed.
Trying different formats, incorporating personal interests, and accepting uninspired phases are part of my approach. Reflecting on the impact of my reviews on readers reinforces my passion for reading and reviewing, helping me stay motivated even during challenging times.
Having my review calendar also motivates me to read according to the schedule, ensuring that I don’t delay delivering the reviews. Even though I create and adhere to my review calendar, there are times when I don’t feel like reading a book. In such instances, I choose not to force myself because doing anything under compulsion might lead to losing interest in it. Therefore, during such moments, I simply follow my heart and engage in something else. Taking this approach will also encourage me to read more next time with a fresh mind.
Do you have any long-term goals or aspirations related to your career as a book reviewer? Are there any projects or initiatives you’re working on that you’d like to share?
Currently, I am focusing on improving my blog since I have numerous other responsibilities. However, I do have plans to write a book based on my life experiences. I’ve spent a significant portion of my life living in hostels, and I’ve accumulated an abundance of interesting stories I’m eager to share. Some of these stories are funny, others are emotional, some are thrilling, and some are spooky. I would love to write a book about my life journey when the time is right.
I have a rough plan to open a ‘book cafe,’ but not in the traditional sense like a crossword or typical bookstore. Instead, I envision a cozy and aesthetically pleasing space exclusively for book lovers. However, I recognize that I need to deepen my knowledge of literary works for this venture, and I am actively learning.
Currently, my personal and professional life keeps me occupied, leaving me with little spare time. But, when the right moment arrives, I am determined to bring this idea to life. Being surrounded by books provides me with solace and peace, and I look forward to creating a space where others can experience that same sense of comfort and joy.
As a book reviewer, my goal for now is to enrich readers’ experiences and inspire fellow book enthusiasts. Embrace diverse reading by exploring different genres and authors to gain unique perspectives.
Lastly, what message or advice would you like to convey to your readers or fellow book enthusiasts through your reviews and reviews?
I would like to convey the message that reading is not merely a solitary activity but a shared journey of exploration and growth. Embrace the beauty of diverse narratives and authors, as they offer unique insights into the human experience. I encourage readers to approach each book with an open mind, willing to engage with different ideas and themes and to actively participate in book discussions. Sharing your thoughts and opinions can lead to meaningful conversations and a deeper understanding of the literary world.
Respect the diverse perspectives of others, as every reading experience is subjective, and there is value in various interpretations. Support authors by appreciating their creations and leaving thoughtful reviews and recommendations.
In our fast-paced digital age, I advocate finding a balance between technology and the traditional joy of reading physical books. Savour the journey of reading, relish every page and seek emotional connections that leave lasting impacts. Ultimately, reading is a lifelong journey of learning, inspiration, and wonder. I hope to inspire a love for reading and foster a vibrant community of book enthusiasts who find solace, knowledge, and joy within the pages of books. Let the magic of literature continue to enlighten and enrich our lives.
As we draw the curtains on this captivating interview, we find ourselves enriched by the profound insights shared by Bibliophile Talks. Their unwavering passion for literature, combined with their exceptional ability to articulate the magic of the written word, has left an indelible mark on our minds.
Throughout this enthralling conversation, we have ventured into the depths of literary exploration, embracing the power of imagination, and cherishing the timeless treasures that reside within the pages of books. Bibliophile Talks’ dedication to fostering a deeper appreciation for literature has inspired us all to embark on our own journeys of literary discovery.
From the classics that have stood the test of time to the contemporary masterpieces that continue to shape our world, Bibliophile Talks’ love for literature is an ever-burning beacon of wisdom and wonder.
We extend our heartfelt gratitude to Bibliophile Talks for their generosity in allowing us to peer into their world of words, wisdom, and imagination. Their passion for books and the art of storytelling has illuminated our path and reminded us of the profound impact literature has on our lives.
Download E- Magazine Flipbook here: E – Magazine
Follow Bibliophile Talks: https://www.bibliophiletalks.in/
In this blog post, all images have been sourced from Bibliophile Talks with explicit permission. Unauthorized use, reproduction, or distribution of these images is strictly prohibited. Respect the copyright and creativity of the rightful owner. Thank you for your cooperation.