“I was never a book reader, just how we have acquired taste, reading became an accidental hobby when I used to travel for almost an hour in Mumbai locals”
– Kaushal Mahesh Gupta
In the last “Chat n Coffee” session of the year 2016 we have with us one of the top book reviewers in Goodreads and an eminent book blogger Kaushal Mahesh Gupta whose blog Errors and Kaushal has been home to many books both from newbie and renowned authors.
Today he is going to share with us his journey and tips as a book reviewer.
- Tell us about yourself
I like to call myself a biodegradable human, who doesn’t believe in being pollution in some other human’s life. My bread & butter, when not on a diet, comes from being a digital marketing professional. I am an I.T graduate, like many others who followed the herd and like many others; I am a Cricket & Bollywood fan too.
What is your take on books/ movies/music? Any favorites?
I am of the opinion that every single book, every single movie and every single piece of music has something valuable that can add to our lives. They are not only a form of entertainment, but also a form of realization. A book can take you on a journey that you may never be able to be a part in your entire life. A movie can make you love and live the characters on screen, understand them and the humans, I never leave my logic and brain behind while watching a movie. Music, what do I tell! In my viewpoint they are best pill against a headache. It would be difficult to name only a few favourites, but biographies and autobiographies are my favourite in books, “Anurag Kashyap” is one of my favourite genres and I like every form of music, but I am trying to understand EDM.
- Given a chance what one thing would you like to change in your life?
Nothing. If I would have had anything different in my life, maybe I would not have been answering this set of questions here. Whatever happens, happens for good. It’s only one life that we have, so we should live it the way it comes, unless one believes in reincarnation.
- You have been reviewing books. What kind of books you usually love to read?
Yes, I am reviewing books actively for more than a year now, but I think I write more about the book instead of being a tough critic and getting into the nitty-gritty of the story. I prefer to read non-fiction, autobiographies and mythological fiction. Also, if you have a look at Errors And Kaushal, my book review blog, you will notice that I have read a lot of debut Indian authors and that’s because we should promote their work unlike popular authors who get backed by the publishing house in their marketing and advertisement efforts.
Indian book bloggers have made a very important presence in the publishing industry. Did you always wanted to be one of them?
Yes, the book review bloggers are making the presence felt now and that’s all because of the ease of creating a blog/website and then reaching out to the blog readers. No, I never wanted to be a book blogger, it happened by chance when I first wrote about my experience of reading Raghu Ram’s debut Book, Raghu picked that up and shared with his followers and this kind of got me excited.
P.S: I was never a book reader, just how we have acquired taste, reading became an accidental hobby when I used to travel for almost an hour in Mumbai locals, and I had nothing to do.
What was your feeling when you were first approached by an author or publisher as a book reviewer?
When I was first approached by an author, I had written only about two books on my blog. I was amazed at this incident of being asked to write about a book by the author and also excited to receive the book directly from the author.
As a book reviewer, what are the things that you consider while writing a review ?
I personally believe that no story is a bad story, and should be read for a perspective on living the characters and their lives. I look at the overall attempt of the writer in keeping me engaged with the story at some level or the other. It is all about the narration and the choice of words for me, and if the book is with minimum predictability than the author has won the reader in me.
What is your opinion on rating a book on a scale of five?
Ideally, the book should not be rated because for us it’s just another book, but for the author it was almost everything. Today, with the kind of book review mechanism and portals that have come up, the ratings have become an integral part of the review system. I rate them only when it is mandatory on platforms like Goodreads or Amazon, but I don’t rate a book on my book review blog, Errors And Kaushal.
Reviewing a book is a very critical task since it helps a reader to decide whether to read the particular book or not. Many book lovers are nowadays turning into book reviewers. What message would you like to give them?
Yes, it’s a very critical task because it is almost the make or break for the book. My message to fellow book bloggers would be, “We should appreciate the story and writing more than the author or publication house it comes from as there are many self published authors who are writing great stuff but are away from the readers world because they don’t have enough marketing or advertising budgets. If possible, do help them in creating awareness about their debut books.”
- With so many books publishing every day, what do you expect from an author or a publisher regarding reviewing books?
I expect them to be more organized and when I say more organized, what I mean is that they should handpick book bloggers who write more often about the genre of their book. They should be open to honest reviews and should not ask for a positive review right away, because the book goes out to the book blogger for free. Remember a book blogger also puts in equal efforts to read the book and then write about it so no unjust expectations like the review should be made live within 3 days, no negative comment, mandatory post on Amazon, etc… As most of the book bloggers themselves understand the importance of a review on Goodreads and E-Com sites.
And now in the end, how can the readers and others contact you.
I am just a tweet away; I can be reached at @gupta_kaushal. I am active on all social media channels like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Goodreads. The readers can connect with me via my Book Review Blog, Errors And Kaushal at guptakaushal.in.