Creating magic on paper

- Ekantipur Report
Creating magic on paper

Apr 7, 2014-

Sunny Amatya is a student of mechatronic engineering, currently attending the Asian Institute of Technology in Bangkok. Besides her subject of study, she is passionate about reading, especially thrillers and Marvel/DC comics, as well as writing her own poetry and stories. She talked to Prizma Ghimire about what in particular she finds appealing about delving into the pages of a given book. Excerpts:

What are you reading right now?

Emma by Jane Austen has been lying about my bed for quite some time, and I’ve been reading it in bits and pieces. Besides that, I generally have some reads handy in my backpack for whenever the mood strikes, and at the moment, these comprise the Invincible Iron Man comic books.

What sort of books do you prefer? Are there any that you’d say have changed your life?

I’m a big fan of thrillers. Most of my book collection consists of action thrillers, detective novels, a few classics, Marvel/DC comics, and a couple of random bestsellers. These have all influenced me to some degree or the other over time...every book I’ve read has had something to offer me, and even the ones that I don’t take anything away from, I have friends read them to tell me if there’s some particular perspective that I’ve missed out on.

Who would you say is your favourite author?

It’s something that changes with time, but right now, my favourite writer is James Rollins. He crafts books that are absolutely gripping—perfect combinations of science, history, action and suspense. There are some incredible plot twists that he incorporates in his work, and he is able to create characters with a lot of depth. I love his books for the kind of believable, sharp and addictive writing they showcase.

Where are you most comfortable reading?

I generally read before I go to bed or when I’m on holiday. For the latter I usually stick to thrillers, real page-turners. But you can’t read those when you’re trying to fall asleep, so I try to read something lighter, comics or other books that I can shut and return to some other time when I want.

Given the proliferation of technology in recent times, do you think reading is at risk of being replaced by more modern forms of entertainment?

I honestly doubt that anything will come along that is great enough to replace reading. A lot of people, for instance, prefer watching films based on books, but it’s the opposite for me: If I like the film, I want to trace it back to its source, the actual text from which it came. Books enable one to unleash the full power of one’s imagination—any other medium, at least for me, restricts that to a certain extent. I’ve been disappointed with a lot of film adaptations of books—whether it’s the Harry Potter series, The Da Vinci Code, Pride and Prejudice or The Ender’s Game—screen versions are very rarely able to deliver the kind of magic that books do.

What are your views on contemporary Nepali literature?

I think things are going great. When I first started reading books by local authors, there were so few to choose from. But it’s a realm that has been expanding, on so many levels, of late, including English-language books that are targeted at a wider audience. There’s been a similar expansion in poetry, I believe. I see a lot of young aspiring poets and writers putting out regular blogs, as well as taking part in spoken word programmes and other activities.

I really think Nepali literature is spreading its wings right now, slowly going global, and that’s super.

Is there anything you’d change about how you interact with books?

I do wish I was a bit more careful, neater, when it comes to handling books. They’re always so crisp and clean when I bring them home from the store, and they’re practically crippled by the time I’m finished with them.

What’s the one book you can read and re-read more times than you could count?

James Rollins’ the Sigma series, hands down. I’ve read it so many times that I feel like I know the characters intimately and I love them. The dialogues are so edgy and the way he describes scenes and action is absolutely fantastic.

What would you say is the biggest advantage of being a reader?

I believe readers are patient and imaginative. Readers are also comfortable with solitude, so long as they have a good book. And if you’re a really good reader, chances are that will translate to writing as well.

Published: 07-04-2014 09:07

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