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Interview with a Book Blogger | Shalu Dhillon | Bibliomaniac_Shal

Shalu Dhillon Bibliomaniac_shal

Shalu Dhillon 

Q.1 Please introduce yourself - Where are you from? How long have you been blogging? What’s the name of your blog? What made you decide to start a book blog?
A. I am Shalu Thakur Dhillon, a reader first, then a blogger and a writer. I have been fortunate enough to stay in various parts of this culturally rich country, India. For now, I am stationed at Jalandhar, Punjab.

Though I had been passionate about reading always I started writing about my readings approximately two years back. It all began with a casual chat about books with my Biblio friends, and then we took it to social media where I met a lot of like-minded people who encouraged me and inspired me to post my reviews. That’s how my journey as a blogger began with Bibliomaniacvangabond, which is my blog’s name. This blog is about book suggestions, travel stories, and some of my own writings; fiction as well as routine life.

Q.2 What is your favorite genre and book?
A. I love to read fiction, be it romance, historical or mythological fiction. Thrillers too excite me. Self-help books are like once in a while.

Q.3 What one piece of advice do you wish you’d had when you first started book blogging?
A. That I should be honest, but not brutal. It takes a lot of effort to write a book. Sometimes the author’s perspective about a particular subject is different from yours. That doesn’t mean that you should outrightly reject his/her work. This I learned slowly with time and experience. Now my reviews are more suggestive than harsh. So now I am brutally honest but not brutally vocal about it.

Q.4 What piece of advice you would like to give to other bloggers?
A. First of all, you should be honest. Lately, I have read a lot of cases of plagiarism. I feel that it is not fair. Read less, write lesser reviews, but whatever you review should be genuine work. Another thing, we all have our preferred genres. So we can’t outrightly reject a book if it is not of our preferred genre. Lastly, try to be honest with fellow readers too. Don’t give or change ratings under any influence. Trust me, you lose your credibility.   

Q.5 How many books are actually on your bookshelf/shelves right now?
A. Approximately 30. These are the books I want to read in this current year 2020 other than the review copies. I hope I get enough time to read them.

Q.6 If you could be a character from a book for just one day who would you be and why?
A. That’s not fair. So many books, characters, and I am being asked to choose one. Santiago from The Alchemist to Elizabeth Bennet of Pride and Prejudice, bold Rabani from my own book A Turbulent Tale of Love to meek Anastasia of Fifty Shades, I will love to live them all. They all carry a different flavor.

Q.7 Is blogging your profession or just a hobby? Does your family support you? What’s their take on this?
A. It’s both, hobby as well as a profession now. I am blessed to have readers in my family. Hence I get a lot of support at home. My kids, husband, sister-in-law love to read, and we generally discuss our readings and recommend books to each other. Apart from this, I am fortunate to have many friends who are into books. After joining Bookstagram and GoodReads community, I got to meet many like-minded people and I am fortunate that the number is growing with each passing day.

Q.8 What do you think is the best strategy for getting more visitors to a blog?
A. The best strategy in any field of work is consistency and honesty. If your posts are frequent, content is good, honest, and engaging, I don’t see a reason for not having visitors to your blog.

Q.9 What are the top 3 characteristics you look for in a good book?
A. The plot, then it depends upon the genre. I am fond of reading romance, thriller, history, and mythology. In romance, you generally get an idea about the end that whether the story is going to have a sad or a happy ending, but it’s the journey to meet that end that makes it interesting. Similarly in thrillers, if I am not able to guess the end which happens very rarely, the book is a great read for me.

The Narration - A lot depends upon the narration style, at least to me. A good plot with poor narration most times falls flat. Similarly, a strong narration can strengthen even a simple plot too. To me, it adds aesthetics to the plot.

Q.10 What are your favorite Instagram/Bookstagram/Booktuber accounts?
A. Many; @bookscharming, @singh_reads.kanwar, @sneha_scribbles, Outset - Rakhi Jayashakar are some of the names I refer to for book recommendations and trust their opinion about books.

A few words for our readers and Books Charming -
As I said earlier, Book Charming is one of the accounts, I go back to for recommendations. You are doing a great job and keep up the good work. For readers, I would like to say, even if you are busy with the hustle-bustle of life, do take out time for reading. You may choose to read a page or two but don’t call it a night before you do that.

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