A Latte with Literati–Mugdha Mahajan

Mugdha Mahajan aka @confuzzledreader is a book reviewer from Punjab, India. She is 24 years old and currently pursuing Chartered Accountancy. Her favorite things to do are reading, sleeping, eating and studying. She loves food and exploring new places to eat. She has a very interesting routine – her day starts around 2:00 P.M and end at 6:00 A.M 😊 She hails from a joint family with two siblings. She also loves painting and face art. She often combines her love for face art and reading to create beautiful book review posts on Instagram. Mugdha was featured on Buzzfeed, among the list of top bookstagrammers from India. Being an introvert, it takes her a long time to open up to people, but her bookstagram account helped her gain confidence.

This is her first interview! Without much ado, lets dive into Mugdha’s world of books.

Favorite Genre: Fantasy, Thriller and Horror

Childhood Favorite: The Famous Five series

Recent Reviews: Blood on The Sands, Pursuit

Profession: Student (Chartered Accountancy)

Salini: Let’s start with your early days. What are your first memories of reading? What was your favorite book as a child?

Mugdha: My love for reading started when I realized how much I loved the new course books which I got at the beginning of every class. I used to buy Tinkle comics at railway stations and eventually my father started gifting me short story books. But my real reading journey started when one of my relative gifted me The Famous Five series by Enid Blyton and they became my favorite books as a child.

Salini: How was your transition from a reader to a book reviewer? What was your inspiration to take up this unique role of a book reviewer?

Mugdha: My transition from a reader to a book reviewer was not sudden. I joined bookstagram in 2017 and eventually started with posting bookish pictures but then I realised I can review the books and It was the perfect role for me. My inspiration were the many bookstagram accounts which I really adored.

Salini: What’s the book that’s sitting on your reading desk right now? Or is it a stack of books? 😊

Mugdha: There’s as always a stack lying next to me. These are all the review copies I’ve received.

Salini: What are your favorite genres? Are you a fiction or non-fiction reviewer, or do you do both?

Mugdha: My favourite genres are: Fantasy, Thriller and Horror. I review both Fiction as well as Non-Fiction books.

Salini: Tell me a bit about your reading habits. Which one do you like, eBooks or paperbacks? Do you have any specific reading place/time?

Mugdha: I’m a night reader and if the book is really intriguing I can give up on sleep too 😛 I prefer paperbacks. And there’s no specific place/time for reading.

Salini: Tell us how a reader could benefit from reading your book review? Do you give any specific pointers?

Mugdha: I usually prefer writing short and sweet review so that if a reader wishes to buy a book, he/she gets a general idea of how a book is. Writing long reviews is something I think doesn’t attract readers because no one has the time to read such long reviews and spoilers may ruin the reader’s experience.

Salini: On your journey as a book reviewer, what are the challenges you faced? Was it a smooth ride?

Mugdha: My journey has not been full of ups and down since I never saw my account as a competitive place. This is where I find my happiness, so when it starts taking a toll on me, I take a break. As a book reviewer I have faced some challenges like:

  • Authors hesitating to give fees for the review since they didn’t consider my efforts
  • People copying my ideas without giving due credit
  • Not reaching enough people out there because of Instagram algorithm

But now, people have started recognizing my work and I have learnt to deal with everything that comes my way.

Salini: What was one of the highest points of your journey as a book reviewer? Any unforgettable experiences?

Mugdha: The highest points of my journey were when I started receiving review copies from the publishing houses. The unforgettable experience would be when I was featured in the Buzzfeed article about Indian bookstagrammers you need to follow.

Salini: How do you juggle your day-job and book reviewing? (if you are a part-time reviewer)

Mugdha: I’m a student right now but I had my internship for 3 years which ended in 2020. I used to focus more on studies because my first priority would always be my career as a CA. I read whenever I find time. I click 7-8 pictures in one go which is enough for a week and then focus on my studies.

Salini: Are you strictly a reviewer, or do you write too? If yes, where can we read you?

Mugdha: Not strictly a book reviewer but I like to call myself as a content creator. I don’t write as in writing stories but I sometimes do write a few lines of poetry whenever I’m feeling low. I haven’t published my writings because they are very personal to me. Maybe one day I’ll.

Mugdha’s Social Media Handles

Mugdha’s Book Reviews

https://fictionalworld436.wordpress.com/2021/01/08/blood-on-the-sands/

https://fictionalworld436.wordpress.com/2021/01/05/daughters-of-char-chinar/

https://fictionalworld436.wordpress.com/2020/10/29/the-henna-artist/

Mugdha’s Instagram Feed

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