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We began Kitabi Qisse with a simple goal – to spotlight the work of South-Asian authors and bring their work to our diverse book finder. In 2023, we were lucky to have connected with 200+ creatives – authors, artists, and writers from South-Asia whose work we continue to share with our community. As the year is wrapping up, we wanted to bring you their best tips on how to raise readers. Reading like all creative pursuits is a habit. The sooner we begin, the easier it is. Here are some awesome tips!

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Kitabi Qisse: 26 South-Asian authors share their tips on how to raise readers

26 South-Asian authors share their tips on how to raise readers

  1. “It’s not whether you like reading or not, it’s whether you found the right author, the right genre” – Sandhya Acharya, Children’s Book Author
  2. “Read yourself. The more they see you read, the more they will feel like picking up a book.” – Kripsa Mehta, Children’s Book Author
  3. “Start as early as possible. Read with your children, read to your children, right from when they are born.” – Balveen Singh, Children’s Book Author
  4. “You have to see what your interests are and keep reading. Reading opens up your mind.”- Esma Ashraf, Poet
  5. “Let not the kid only enjoy the book, you should also enjoy it. So, if the book involves dancing, dance along.” – Shachi Kaushik, Children’s Book Author
  6. “Talk to the librarian, whether it’s your local library or school library. Because librarians and awesome and have so much knowledge.” – Meenal Patel, Children’s Book Author and Illustrator
  7. “Keep books in a place that’s accessible and they (kids) can pull them out by themselves.”- Tasneem Dairywala, Children’s Book Author
  8. “It’s like taking your eyes off a screen, it’s a form of self-care, just you and your book, having fun.”- Avani Dwivedi, Children’s Book Author and Illustrator
  9. “If a child is interested in science fiction, I follow that because through that I can get them interested in reading and writing.” – Vidya Muralidhar, Children’s Book Author
  10. “Don’t get intimidated by people, who are like I read eight books a year. You can read one book a year, and that’s still reading.” – Rani Shah, Author
  11. “I did once meet someone who used the Pomodoro method for reading, and being able to get a little bit of reading done during their busy day.”- Mrinal Gokhale, Author
  12. “I would recommend a topic that really excites you, and finding books underneath that topic.”- Aparna Verma, Author
  13. “I have two young kids, and I always let them pick their stories.” – Godhuli C. Gupta, Poet
  14. “The important thing for parents or any reader to understand is just try. Do a taste test of lots and lots of different kinds of books,” – Jyoti Rajan Gopal, Children’s Book Author
  15. “You don’t have to read words all the time, you can also read visuals.” – Debasmita Dasgupta, Author, Illustrator & Filmaker
  16. “Read what you like. I can give you recommendations, if you like a TV show there are books that feel like that TV show.” – Karuna Riazi, YA Author
  17. “Read what you like. Don’t pick a book because it’s popular, or something that looks very fancy and educational.” – Anika Hussain, YA Author
  18. “Finding that one book that can help you open doors to so many other books.”- Shetal Shah, Author
  19. “Leading by example is a huge deal. We started when my kids were very small, we would read together and make that a part of the routine.” – Sathya Achia, Author
  20. “Start by reading comics or graphic novels.”- Devika Joglekar, Children’s Book Author and Illustrator
  21. “Meet them half way. Find the things that excite them, the topics that are exciting to them. I’m big on building inclusive bookshelves, but my daughter doesn’t like all of them. So in addition to those we have books on unicorns and Disney princesses.” – Anjali Jariwala, Children’s Book Author
  22. “It has to become priority and it has to take precedence over watching Netflix.” – Suma Subramaniam, Children’s Book Author
  23. “Whatever it is, whether it’s unicorns, dragons, look for a book that about something you want to learn about, or you want to read.” – Mitali Ruths, Children’s Book Author
  24. “Sampling different books is a good way to find what you like. And in addition, an ergonomic chair, or a place that feels comfortable to read.” – Saahil Mehta, Storyteller and Editor
  25. “If you are engaging with words on a page, you are reading. The most important thing you can do is to not let other people tell you what count and what doesn’t count.”- Neema Avashia, Author
  26. “It’s really important to surround yourself with books that are mirrors.” – Gita Varadrajan, Children’s Book Author

All these inspiring conversations are listed HERE and available on our YouTube channel too.

We hope that this series continues to inspire you with tips on how to raise young readers, and get them excited about books that transport them to new worlds.