Authors, Books, Interviews

Author Interview: Lakshmi Narayan

Q. Hello Lakshmi, and thank you for agreeing this interview and congratulations on your book, ‘Bonsai Kitten ’. Tell me a little about yourself and your background?

I must have been a journalist in my mother’s womb. Both my father and grandfather were eminent journalists. In fact, my grandfather ran a paper called The West Coast Reformer, where he was the editor, the cartoonist, the peon … everything! His favourite target was the British collector of the district and he lampooned him mercilessly. Apparently, when he was asked why he didn’t arrest my grandfather, he’s reported to have said, “Because he makes me laugh so much!” When my dad used to go for night duty at the Times of India, Delhi, I would howl at being parted from him, so he often carried me to work and put me to sleep on top of his desk. So I have writer’s ink in my blood! From journalism to authoring books was a natural progression, especially after I retired.

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Book Reviews, Books, Non-Fiction, philosophy

BOOK REVIEW: Become What You Are by Alan Watts

Pages: 146, Kindle Edition

First Published on:  1955

Cover Rating: 4/5

Buy From Amazon

This not the first Alan Watts book I have read. To read this one, I made myself familiar with his writing and philosophy by reading his other books such as The Wisdom of Insecurity (on someone’s recommendation in past) and listening to his teachings in past few weeks. It’s important to know your subject in most cases. In this case, even if you aren’t familiar with Watts’ philosophy, I’d suggest you to go ahead. However, a bit of familiarity only embraces curiosity. The title is the essence of this book, might point to another domino piece in the self-help genre but I can assure you that this text which was first published in 1955 holds the same amount of value and wisdom today as it did back then.

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Book Reviews, Books, Non-Fiction

BOOK REVIEW: Worthy-Boost Your Self-Worth to Grow Your Net Worth by Nancy Levin

Published in August, 2016 by Hay House Inc.

Pages 259, Kindle Edition

Goodreads | Amazon

What if I told you that your net worth is determined by your self-worth, and by self-worth I mean how you treat yourself. A more convincing way would be reading Nancy Levin’s Worthy-Boost Your Self-Worth to Grow Your Net Worth. According to her, the real key to financial freedom isn’t changing what we do, it’s changing how we feel.

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Book Reviews, Books, Fiction

BOOK REVIEW: The Search of the Myth by Prithviraj Desai

Pages: 256, Paperback
Published: July 2017 by Notion Press
Cover Rating: 4/5

Blend of history with right amount of suspense and adventure.

The adventure starts with an idea of deciphering the context by the protagonist and the surrounding characters in the pages of The Search of the Myth written by Prithviraj Desai who take his readers in the historical times of the Wreck of Grosvernor, sailing ship that used to operate under East India Company in 1780s. This wreck left a secret in the hands of a survivor which was supposed to be delivered to the King of England at that time, but is kept chasing throughout the history.

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Book Reviews, Books, Business, Non-Fiction

BOOK REVIEW: Aha to All in- Life Lessons From an Unexpected Entrepreneur by Jonathan Hagmaier

Pages: 212, Kindle Edition

Published: June 2017

Cover Rating: 2/5

Aha to All in by Jonathan Hagmaier and his co-authors William Long and Jeffrey Smith is not only a memoir of Jonathan’s entrepreneurial phase of life but also contains many lessons that have he struggled and conquered during his journey.

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Book Reviews, Books, Fiction, Reviews

BOOK REVIEW: The Upstairs Room by Kate Murray-Browne

Pages: 320, Kindle Edition
Published: July 2017, by Picador
Cover Rating: 5/5

A Clever play of words with a sense of mystery and a gothic tale

Kate Murray-Browne’s debut, The Upstairs Room is a gothic tale with a modern radiance set in London, United Kingdom that revolve around the lives of three characters in a Victorian house.

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Books, eReaders

TECH WON’T KILL YOUR READING

Books are a collection of words that form a unified narrative, and printed on paper. These kind of objects are very alive today, and will continue to exist when you’ll be having grandchildren. They are one of the best inventions.

Ebooks are a collection of words that too form a unified narrative but are not printed on paper. Instead they are distributed electronically in various formats for vast amount of devices. Soon you’d be able to read ebooks on those wearable smart watches. If that doesn’t damage your eyes, nothing will. Apart from that, they are one of the best innovations. They are here for the benefit. It’s up to the reader to take full advantage of the technology for their benefit and love of reading.

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Books, eReaders

A Curated list of Kindle/Ereaders posts from this blog

https://c2.staticflickr.com/6/5549/9368420998_b14f4650e5_b.jpg
https://c2.staticflickr.com/6/5549/9368420998_b14f4650e5_b.jpg

I remember when I read my first ebook on a mobile phone, it was not so smart like nowadays phones, the glowing screen in the darkness of night made me interested in books to a higher extent to continue both the habits of reading and eReading. Years, have passed since that night and now I own a smartphone and a personal eReader as well. My appetite of reading books has grown over the years and to satisfy it, both the formats: physical and electronic, have helped me. Some might not agree with me over ebooks and few might still be indulged in the Battle of Physical Books vs E-Books. But I must say, after all, it’s a matter of choice and opinion. You can stick with books that have an aroma inside them that cannot or haven’t (as to my knowledge) been converted in a saleable fragrance. Or you can get best of both the worlds.

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Books, eReaders, Guest Post

GUEST POST: Do E-books Allow Us to Read Books Properly?

Do E-books Allow Us to Read Books Properly? by Cassie

The popularity of e-books has grown over the years. It’s no surprise why e-readers have taken off. You can store thousands of books on a single, easy-to-carry device. Top authors now offer both print and digital versions of their novels. Interestingly, paperback sales have increased by 2.5 percent in 2015. In comparison, e-book sales actually dipped 11.1 percent. With that said, many readers have no qualms reading either format. Still there are a few who strongly prefer one over the other. Perhaps you are a die-hard paperback supporter. Or maybe you prefer the digital format. Whichever you prefer, there are definitely positives and negatives of e-books.

 

Advantages of E-books

There’s no doubt e-books have changed the way people read, both good and bad. On the plus side, the average e-book reader has read more books in the past year than those who only read print. Readers can place digital books on their smartphones or tablets and read anywhere, whether they’re waiting in line or relaxing on the beach. Thanks to the open environment of Amazon and Barnes and Noble, there are thousands of original e-books users might not otherwise find at their bookstore. Bibliophiles can even get access to books not available in their country by using virtual private network (VPN) software to work around geo-restrictions.

One of the biggest advantages of e-books over traditional ones is the ability to customize font size, style and even darkness. This makes it perfect for people with poor eyesight or reading disorders. A study found dyslexic subjects managed much better with e-books as they were able to format text so they only needed to focus on a single line at a time.

Studies also suggest e-readers boost reading confidence among reluctant young readers as they are more familiar with the technology. Since they cannot see the size of the book, it is visually less daunting to read a 300-page e-book than a physical book of the same size. Since many e-readers come with a built-in dictionary, those with lower reading comprehension or ESL readers can quickly learn the meaning of words in context without having to open a separate dictionary.

Disadvantages of E-books

All of these might seem like e-books improve our reading capabilities. It certainly has made reading a popular pastime again. However, it comes with its own set of drawbacks. One of the biggest is in recollection. A 2014 study found e-book readers recalled order of events worse than those who read a print version of the same story. The same study found readers were not as emotionally invested in stories when reading digital versus paperback. While it’s unclear why this might be, researchers suggest it might be due to the lack of tactile feedback. With a physical book, readers must physically turn a page and can see their progress as the pages increase on the left side and decrease on the right.

Other researchers suggest a more straightforward reason: shorter reading time. This is especially true when not reading on a dedicated e-reader. There are so many distractions that direct people’s attention away from the book, whether it’s getting a notification about an email or simply browsing the web. People are so used to multitasking with their smartphones and tablets, this habit carries over when reading.

Even when reading without distractions, the amount of time people spend reading a book has decreased. Before e-readers, many people set aside a few hours to read a book. It provided a relaxing experience or routine to help break up a hectic day. Now, many people read books on the go. Instead of hours, they often read books in fifteen to 30-minute bursts in order to fill time. Unfortunately, this leads to poorer reading comprehension and information retention, both of which require long, undisturbed chunks of time.

In addition, many e-book readers tend to skim and hunt for important words or phrases in an F pattern, a habit carried over from reading webpages. While this might provide the basic idea of the action on page, it leaves out a lot of detail. Interestingly, while skimming certainly occurs with physical books, it’s more common with digital. This might be due to the fact that reading on-screen takes 20 to 30 percent longer than reading on paper. Digital readers could be making up for lost time when reading on-screen.

One reason many people approach digital reading habits more casually than regular books is the concept of ownership. When readers buy a physical book they own it. Once exchanged for money, publishers or authors cannot force readers to give up their copy. On the other hand, readers do not own digital books. Instead, they purchase a license for the text. This means the provider—Amazon, Barnes and Noble, etc.—controls the book and can otherwise revoke access or simply remove it from devices. If providers can pull books off a device at will, it might not make much sense to many readers to get too invested.

The question of whether e-books are good or bad for our reading habits has supporters on both sides. At the end of the day, it depends on the reader. Some may find their reading habits improve while others might find their comprehension decrease due to distractions. One thing is clear: digital books won’t replace physical books anytime soon. The world will continue to offer paper and pixels for book lovers around the world.


About the Author: Cassie is a technology and entertainment writer. An avid reader, she’s intrigued by how technological advances have made reading more accessible for many while also creating several disadvantages. 

Follow her on Twitter.   

 

Books, eReaders

Merits of Reading (e)Books

Source: Tor.com

Having a book to read on the fly is a wonderful advantage that an ebook reading application or an eReader provides. In this digital age, we are doing it wrong if we are mingling with thought of “Ebooks vs Books” paradigm. There is no debate, there is no question in that. If we want to read, we must read. Ebooks can be read practically anywhere on anything whether you have a phone, a tablet or a laptop (However, I don’t like reading “books” on my laptop) or an eReader.

The argument of Ebooks vs. Books is wrongly build, since a physical copy of a book is always and will always be an ideal format. The feeling of holding a book and grasping lines after lines with your eyes might be indispensable but to satisfy our thirst of reading it is up to us on how we can take advantage of both formats in our daily lives.

Source: Cyanide & Happiness

I am an avid reader and most of the books that I read are in Ebook format. I am always carrying my smartphone and there are tons of applications that support the common formats like .epub or .mobi. Most apps even offer customisations according the day/night light and the background paper just to ease the stress on your eyes. Most apps do provide an average text-to-speech feature which works great when you want to give your eyes some rest.

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