Meet Japneet Kaur, a buzzfeed featured book blogger and the owner of the popular bookstagram handle, millennial_reader. She is obsessed with books, tea, and junk jewelry. She loves nature and food and is on a journey to explore the world through narratives. Being an INFP-T personality type, she find solace in books, and nature. She loves South Asian Fiction. So, without much ado, let’s dive into the world of Japneet Kaur!
Salini: Let’s start with your early days. What are your first memories of reading? What was your favorite book as a child?
Japneet: My first memories of reading go back to the times when I was 5-6 years old. My mom wanted to inculcate the habit of reading in me since I was a kid so I started early. I remember the first book I read by myself was ‘Getting Granny’s Glasses’ by Ruskin Bond. My favourite books were Panchtantra comics and other fairy tale books that my mom used to get for me.
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
Japneet: I have been a literature student through and through and being a literature student means a lot of reading and that too not just in the subject you’re majoring in. Since my undergraduate days I knew I wanted to talk about what I read and my understanding of it to a majority of people. Critical analysis was a part of my everyday life back in my undergrad and postgrad days and I knew I would love nothing more than doing that. When you decide to be a reviewer, knowingly or unknowingly, you are signing up for the same. I did that and here I am.
Salini: What’s the book that’s sitting on your reading desk right now? Or is it a stack of books? 😊
Japneet: Actually, there are 3 books that are sitting on my desk right now. I’m a multiple books at once kind of a person so it’s ‘Saira Zariwala is Afraid‘, a gifted copy by Harper Collins, ‘Butter Chicken In Ludhiana‘, a non fiction and a collection of short stories by Ismat Chughtai.
Salini: What are your favorite genres? Are you a fiction or non-fiction reviewer, or do you do both?
Japneet: I review both fiction and non-fiction but I do prefer fiction, any day. My favourite genres are Literary fiction, contemporary fiction, Historical fiction and Political fiction.
Salini: What was one of the highest points of your journey as a book reviewer? Any unforgettable experiences?
Japneet: One of the highest points which I would never forget in the course of my life would be when I was featured by BuzzFeed in the list of ‘Indian Bookstagrammers You Need To Follow On Instagram Right Now‘. It was unbelievable and so special.
Salini: When authors approach you for a review, what information are you expecting from them?
Japneet: If an author is approaching me for a review what I expect from them is to be clear and concise about the premise of their book, the genre, how long the book is and when are they expecting the review- the time span. Additional details like if they want simply the review or promotions as well are helpful.
Salini: Which is that one book you think every human being should read? And why?
Japneet: One book that I think everyone should read is ‘The Colour Purple‘ by Alice Walker. This is a book about a woman who has been wronged multiple times, has nothing going right for her, is stuck in a terrible marriage and yet is so resilient. It is a book that would make you feel thankful on your darkest days and yet make your heart cry for the protagonist. It also teaches you resilience in the most humane and beautiful way.
Salini: Are you strictly a reviewer, or do you write too? If yes, where can we read you? (website links/published articles)
Japneet: I write too. In fact, I am a content writer. A lot of my scribblings are on my Instagram but others can be found here. https://rivetingreaderjapneet.home.blog
Salini: As a community, do book reviewers have any groups or collaborations? Who is a fellow book reviewer (of your circle) you greatly respect?
Japneet: We do have a few groups where we have discussions, address the issues in the community, talk about books that we have read or are planning to read and more. A few of them actually: Laeba from @_readgret_, Prerna from @preadsbooks, Ali from @southasianbookclub, and Kavitha from @shri_reads_books.
Salini: Please tell me about a common point of improvement you come across in the work of new writers. From a reviewer to a writer, please give me a generic tip to become a better writer.
Japneet: One advice I wish to give to any and every writer out there is please proofread your work and even after the editor says he/she has done their job take a look at the final draft because spelling errors and wrong grammar are two things that make a book a turn off for me.
Japneet’s Social Media Handles
A book review by Japneet
Japneet’s Instagram Page