Today I'd like you all to welcome Punya Rashid, avid reader, book blogger and she's been named on of the top 1 % of reviewers on Goodreads!
Hello and thank you so much for coming to visit us at Lady Scribes! Will you tell us a little about yourself and how you came to read Romance?
Hello, I’m so excited to be here at Lady Scribes. Thank you for having me! Reading is an art that has been instilled in me since my childhood. I’m just a regular girl who discovered Romance reading quite surprisingly back in 2004. I was ill and going through follow-ups. Distraction is something I craved and one day, it came in the form of Victoria Holt’s On the Night of the Seventh Moon which my mom bought for herself. Well guess, what? I’m the one who got addicted and haven’t looked back ever since. Gradually, after I recovered, I begin searching for more information on the current themes and authors of this particular genre, discovering some great reads along the way.
How many books do you read a month, usually? Any other favorite genres besides Romance? What's your favorite reading medium?
Honestly, I don’t really target a read count. I just go as I can. But, even a year and a half ago I used to devour books at such a speed, I could read around 10/12 full-length novels in a month, sometimes even more if I count in the novella-length stories. But real life has intruded of late and my reading speed has gone down quite a bit. Now, I read up to 6 to 8 books, give or take.
I love classics. Also good ghost stories are my favorite. Since I prefer ebooks nowadays, my reader is my favorite reading medium. But I have some old paperbacks, including several Victoria Holt books that I treasure.
You have a Romance review blog, Punya Reviews. How did you go about starting that up? What's your favorite part of review blogging? Your least?
For me, the whole process of reviewing books started out as fun, something to do in my spare time. In 2010, I’ve just completed my MA in English. It’s the same time I also joined Goodreads. Writing has been an important part of my courses and I loved it. Later on, I thought reviewing books would be a great way of keeping that exercise going. Goodreads reviews encouraged me too. Punya Reviews, my blog, initially has been just another place to keep my Goodreads reviews. I started it in 2011, though I became much serious about blogging in the early 2012.
I just love transforming my thoughts into words. I like to challenge myself to see if I can elaborately express whatever I felt about a book in my own words. Sometimes, it’s exhausting, particularly if the book didn’t inspire any strong feelings in me. But when it does, positive and negative, I feel the need to let those words out. And this is probably the best part of review blogging for me. Another thing I love about reviewing is getting feedback, especially from the authors. Feedback from fellow reviewers or whoever is reading my reviews and finding them helpful is lovely too.
The least part of review blogging? I still don’t have any such bad experience but requested reviews do make me nervous. I also feel awful when I decline to do a review, most especially if it’s of a genre I’m not interested in. When I do accept, the thought of what if I don’t like the book… certainly makes me dizzy. hahaha
You've been noted as one of the top 1% of reviewers on Goodreads. Congratulations! Will you tell us how you use Goodreads? Are you involved in groups? Do you have a lot of interaction with other readers? What would you like other avid readers to know about the site?
Aw, thanks. I was surprised to find that email myself but was very happy nonetheless. I’ll take this opportunity to thank Goodreads and congratulate the other fellow top 1% reviewers.
Goodreads was quite an unexpected turn of events for me. The day I found out about Goodreads, I loved it on spot and joined. I basically use Goodreads as a rudder for discovering new recommendations; new books, new authors, discussion, sometimes having an overall idea of what I can expect from a book. It’s just so much fun to discuss with my GR buddies! I also use Goodreads for reading reviews/opinions of the other reviewers when I’m interested in a particular novel. I do read the discussions in the various groups I’ve joined, and they’ve proven to be helpful for me to decide if I should read a particular book/author or not.
For anyone who loves books, I’d say just join Goodreads. It’s addictive!
Have you found that you've bonded with other readers on Goodreads? Found other readers who share your taste or whose reviews you trust?
I love discussing books with like-minded Romance readers. I have some close GR buddies with whom I regularly discuss books, which often includes mine or their next read. Most of them are avid Romance readers, so the discussion is always lively. In most cases I trust in their judgment, though I always keep in mind that a book might affect me in a totally different way than it had them.
As a person with a lot of Goodreads experience, can you tell us what you like to see authors do on the site?
Goodreads is a great site to promote and interact with anyone who loves books or writes them. Personally, I believe that the authors should communicate more with their readers, which they can start by joining Goodreads. I know they’re very busy providing us with the next scrumptious read but from my experience as a reader, I can tell you that I just love chatting with the authors, learning more about a book and its characters directly from them or discuss about the next release. Sometimes it’s just the interaction that counts, to tell them personally just how much I loved a book written by them.
Just out of curiosity, have you ever traveled to any of the Romance conferences, like RomCon, Romantic Times, etc?
No, not yet. But I hope someday I have the opportunity… :)
I hope so too, I'd love to get together with you some day! Thank you so much for visiting with us at Lady Scribes, Punya! Now does anyone else have a question for Punya? A comment about Goodreads? And how many books do you read in a month? Share with us and I'll donate a copy of The Love List to one commenter today!