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The Librarian



The Q&A Show at The Lively Library

Fun Fiction & Fantabulous


Welcome to the next edition of The Q&A Show at The Lively Library. I am Nayan – The Librarian at The Lively Library. We are back with a  good conversations about books, reading and bookish habits. 


Today, we have Archana Sarat. She is the author of Birds of Prey, the latest psychological crime thriller from Readomania. She is an author and poet for the last ten years. She has been published in various popular newspapers, magazines and anthologies like The Times of India, The Economic Times, The SEBI and Corporate Laws Journal, The CA Newsletter, Me Magazine, the Science Reporter, the Chicken Soup for the Soul series, the WRIMO India Anthology, the GloMag Literary Journal and many more. She shuttles between Chennai and Mumbai and loves both cities passionately.


Nayan: Let’s get started with a simple question.Describe your bookish self in three words.

Archana: Hoarder, Lover, Dreamer


Nayan: How are the books treating you?

Archana: The books give me dreams when I’m down and love when I’m sad.


Nayan: Now, can you tell us about the book you are dating at the moment?

Archana: I date at least three at any point of time. Right now, it is The Vegetarian by Han Kang, Cut like Wound by Anita Nair and Story by McKee. (I am polyamorous that way!)


Nayan: Do you remember your first brush with the books?

Archana: Yes. I still have some of them. They were fairy tales like Snow White and Cinderalla that my mother fed me, along with my meals. The first book I read by myself was Amelia Jane by Enid Blyton. My grandfather gifted it to me.


Nayan: A character you would love to date?

Archana: Rhett Butler from Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell.


Nayan: Which is your least favorite book of all time?

Archana: Half Girlfriend by Chetan Bhagat.



Nayan: Your Favorite genre?

Archana: Thrillers.


Nayan: A book you wish had a sequel:

Archana: Gone with the Wind.


Nayan: Your Twin character?

Archana: I find a piece of myself in many characters—Elizabeth Bennett, Anna Karenina, Scarlett O’Hara, Ifemelu, Jane Eyre.



Nayan: A book that you read in one sitting:

Archana: The Illicit Happiness of Others by Manu Joseph. I couldn’t put it down. Finally, I finished it at 2 am and broke down so terribly that it woke up my husband.



Nayan: Is there a book you wish you had written?

Archana: Gone with the Wind.


Nayan:  Which is the heaviest book you have read?

Archana: I don’t remember. The heaviest that I lug around everywhere is Roget’s International Thesaurus.


Nayan: How many books do you read in a month?

Archana: 4 to 10


Nayan: Your library or a bookstore story?

Archana: Mine was an arranged marriage. I didn’t know much about my husband before the wedding. We did have mobile phones but no whatsapp or facebook to be connected all day. Also, our parents were traditional. So, the only thought that was nagging me was whether my husband would love books as much as I did. What if he did not allow me to splurge on books? Then, we went to Shimla on honeymoon. He dragged me to every bookstore there. He introduced me to genres and authors I had never heard about. With every bookstore visit, I fell in love with him a little more.


Nayan: 3 Literary Characters that will stay with you forever:

Archana: Rhett Butler, Heathcliff and Anna Karenina


Nayan: Is there a book you want to see become a movie?

Archana: Shadow in the Mirror by Deepti Menon.



Nayan: Favorite film adaption of a novel:

Archana: The Book Thief


Nayan: An ending of a book you want to desperately change

Archana: The Book Thief. I fell in love with Rudy Steiner and it broke my heart when he died.


Nayan: Which character(s) from a book do you wish were real?

Archana: Heathcliff from Wuthering Heights.


Nayan: What in your opinion is a good book?

Archana: A good book is one from which you take away something. It should make you think long after you have completed it.



Nayan: What in your opinion is a bad book?

Archana: A bad book is one that fails to connect with the reader.



Nayan: Well put. Now, pick the book that has a little of blue on its cover. Go to page 54 and type out the twenty third line!

Archana: Fell into place and Michael stepped forward with a little

(Anita Nair – Cut like Wound)



Nayan: What are your bookish habits?


  1. I read a thriller with my meals, a classic/literary read for an hour every day and a non-fiction book (self-help or writing guides) for motivation.
  2. I carry my kindle everywhere I go.
  3. If I fall in love with an ebook, I end up buying the print version too.
  4. I write down key-points from all the non-fiction books I read.
  5. I underline and scribble all around the book I read, much to the disdain of my husband.



Nayan: What are some of the bookish items you own or desire?

Archana: I have a book light to read in the dark, some beautiful bookmarks and rolls of transparent plastic sheet that are used by my husband to cover the books we buy.



Nayan: What is your bookmark story? Something that is memorable?

Archana: I have a red rose pressed between the pages of a book. The rose and the book—both are special because they were the first ones my husband gave me.


Nayan: Bookish crush?

Archana: Readomania


Nayan: Favorite quote?

Archana: “Not all who wander are lost” - Tolkien


Nayan: One bookish joke?

Archana: When my children scold me for splurging on books!



Nayan: Have you ever enjoyed a book you thought you wouldn’t like?

Archana: The Lives of Others by Neel Mukherjee. My husband forced it on me. Once I finished it, I fell in love with the writing and picked up the other book by the author too.



Nayan: A book you would like to recommend to a stranger?

Archana: Mine!


Nayan: Here is a chance to name these books again:

1.Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone - J.K.Rowling

Archana: Pottering around with Magic

2.The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

Archana: Dreaming and Doing


3. The Monk who sold his Ferrari by Robin Sharma

Archana: Treating a Heart-attack by Travelling to the Himalayas

4. Half Girlfriend by ChetanBhagat

Archana: It’s complicated


5. Chronicles of Urban Nomads

Archana: A Cocktail of Emotions


6. You can win by Shiv Khera

Archana: Think your way to Success


Nayan: It was a pleasure having you at the Q & A Show
: Thank You. I had a wonderful time as well.