Massy or Classy – Who Reads These Books and Why?

Writersmelon is proud to be a partner at the Tata Lit Live! Mumbai Literature Festival 2015. This is a guest article from one of the team members at Writersmelon who attended the litfest curtain raiser blogger meet in Mumbai. 

The Tata Lit Live is in its 6th year now and one of the best Literature Festivals in Mumbai. They organized a blogger meet ahead of the festival on 20th October and Writersmelon is proud to be associated with it.

Image Courtesy: Zohra Merchant

Ravi Subramanian, Deepa Gahlot and Anil Dharker. Image Courtesy: Zohra Merchant

After facing some bad traffic and munching upon super yummy snacks at Café Zoe in Lower Parel, I got on board with the discussion. The panel comprised of three diverse personalities – Ravi Subramanian , one of my favourite authors, someone I admire for his super balancing act between being a banker by the day & author by the night, Deepa Gahlot – author of King Khan – SRK and festival director Anil Dharker. For the curtain raiser event of Tata Lit Live, they had chosen a very relevant topic of discussion, especially for creative professionals – “Is Freedom of Speech threatening Democracy itself?”

From freedom to express political, social & creative viewpoints, the discussion headed to one of my favourite topics –

What is crappy but massy, classy but élite content for a book?

Why are so many ‘crappy/massy’ books being published these days?

Do they really deserve to be printed at the first place?

The answer to all this, again lies in that powerful word called ‘Freedom’.

The freedom to express/write is equally important as the freedom to choose what to read/consume. While there will be a generation that has grown up reading Enid Blyton, there is also a generation that is growing up reading books by Chetan Bhagat. In fact after his success, there is a surge of authors who have captured the moods, lifestyle and even the language of today’s middle class like never before. The potential for a large English reading market in India is not news for the publishers. But the challenge today is to reach out to this market with good quality content and its presentation without compromising on basics – quality editing, presentation in terms of design, typeset, paper quality and others.

Marketing too plays a very important role in the space of popular literature and as bloggers we have an equally important role to play, since online platforms are perhaps one of the most ‘democratic’ medium available. In today’s day and age, the world is literally a stage – wherein nothing & nobody is unreachable. Every artist should feel more confident about exercising creative freedom with some responsibility and compassion.

Image Courtesy: Zohra Merchant

Image Courtesy: Zohra Merchant

Whether the book is massy or classy, good for book stores or for the awards – Let the readers decide. That, according to me is the true essence of Freedom!

This superb discussion sets the tone for this much awaited literature festival. Looking forward to many such thought-provoking discussions and workshops to enrich our writing and publishing experiences.

We have bookmarked this special event – the Tata Literature Live, have you?

Hope to see you there!


Follow Tata Literature Live! The Mumbai LitFest on Facebook Twitter Instagram

Read more blogs about the curtain raiser event here. 

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