Things have been a little crazy the last couple of weeks which is why we have not been able to put up regular posts. However, much to our mixed delight and consternation we have received many messages asking where we were. So we thought we might as well talk on the phone and gossip for the blog.
LL: I saw an Ad on television for a new book that has been recently published. It was actually like any other advertisement. A bit of a shock really!
PS: It’s all these marketing people writing books these days and treating them as products. Is a book a product like clothes or the latest smart phone?
LL: Well, no, I won’t buy a book because it’s the fashion or the latest trend. It appeals to you on a different level.
PS: That’s precisely it. Will you buy it because you see an advertisement for it? Well, I certainly wouldn’t and in fact I would find it really off putting.
LL: So what makes us pick up certain books? Is it the cover or a recommendation?
PS: I did sometimes judge books by their colourful, glossy covers when I was younger but thankfully, I have grown out of doing such things now.
LL: I have to confess that I did buy a book by Ruskin bond, not very long back, because I loved the cover design by Puja Ahuja. But mostly the books I buy or borrow are on the basis of recommendations.
PS: And reviews. And invariably books by authors I really like will be picked up. Their name is the advertisement.
LL: And the blurb at the back helps and also, I guess, how prominently they are displayed. Till date I have not bought a book because I have seen a trailer for it on You Tube.
PS: Sometimes books are bought because they are major prize winners and sometimes movies make a book famous, like Slumdog Millionaire.
LL: But the best books are picked up purely by chance and we have lists and lists of those which we love. It is almost like you are meant to read them at that point.
PS: For most serious readers, books are definitely not a product because they fulfil an inherent need in us. They cater not just to the mind but also on some level, to the soul. And let’s not forget that they can also take you to different worlds and universes.
So if any one buys books for other reasons, we would be really interested in knowing those.