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The Book Satchel on Instagram has 65.7K followers. Resh Susan of The Book Satchel shares its journey and success.

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Resh Susan is a writer based in Mumbai, who runs The Book Satchel, which is a blog and Instagram community containing concise and honest book reviews and recommendations.Resh eats words, cooks stories and indulges in photographs. When she isn’t writing, editing or reading, she is on the internet looking at food pictures. Here, she shares more about her passion for books.

The beginning…

“I was going through a stressful period in my life and looking for hobbies to take my mind off the real life bustle. A book blog seemed to be the best idea since I loved reading. I was also exploring photography then (and fell in love with it), so The Book Satchel, with a mix of pictures and bookish content was born in December 2015,” tells Resh.

The Book Satchel is also popular on Bookstagram, which is a community on Instagram that talks books — new, old, read, anticipated, good, bad, pretty editions, aesthetic flatlays; everything books! “You’d find me glued to a book or typing away on my laptop or behind my camera, my three loves in the world,” she adds. “I started my Instagram (@thebooksatchel) almost the same time as my blog. The bookish group is simply the best kind of people. Everyone is warm, friendly and welcoming and my I wish I had joined the community sooner.”

The featured books…

“There are no rules for me; my tastes vary across the genres. I post whatever I enjoy reading and think a wider audience deserves to know about. Usually I try to focus on newer releases on social media and keep the older books on my personal reading list. I try to focus on a good number of short story collections and translations too every year,” shares Resh.

The fan following…

“The readers who follow me are just like me – they read a varied mix of genres, from literary to dystopian and fantasy, and are always looking for the next best book,” tells Resh.

“My biggest hit of last year was Normal People by Sally Rooney. I was swamped with messages from readers who bought the book or borrowed it. It was one of my absolute favourites of the year too,” she adds.

On reading habits…

“Reading habits depends on the work profile and leisure time available for readers. Audiobooks are also being a equal competitor to ebooks and physical ones. Personally, I love physical books the best but I enjoy them in all formats. My motto is consume more books, whatever be the format,” says Resh.

The use of mobiles are increasing. So, how will it affect reading?

“I do not think this is going to affect reading in a negative way. In fact the social media boom and marketing through those channels has helped popularize the publishing industry. If good books are written, they will be read, no doubt,” replies Resh.

Print books vs ebooks…

“I enjoy the process of cracking open a physical book and feeling the pages between my fingers. That said, I love e-books while travelling. They are light, handy and you always have a lot more books to choose from without affecting your baggage limits. Investing in a Kindle was one of the best decisions too, since it doesn’t put any strain on the eyes. Occasionally I use Bookly app to time my reading sessions. I also love Scribd for their audiobooks and because it is pocket friendly,” shares Resh.

“I think social media has been one of the revelations for the publishing industry. It bridges the gap between authors, publicists and readers.”

On Social media in publishing

“I think social media has been one of the revelations for the publishing industry. It bridges the gap between authors, publicists and readers. Also, readers all around the world can chat about books; how amazing is that! It helps them select the best reads, worth their time and money,” tells Resh.

Asking more about how she uses social media, Resh replies, “I work with publishers on social media to market new releases on my platforms, photography assignments for their marketing and so on. It has been a dream, truly.”

Favourite books…

Some of her recent favourites from India are Amrita Mahale’s Milk Teeth, Meena Kandasamy’s When I Hit You, Esther David’s Bombay Brides, and Shubhangi Swarup’s Latitudes of Longing.

What people like about Book Satchel…

“From the feedback, I think it is always the surprise element. I try to talk about books that aren’t hyped but deserve wider recognition. I regularly update my reading life on Twitter (@thebooksatchel) which has helped me connect with other readers because it is more of an ‘instant’ platform compared to the other ones,” concludes Resh.

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