BENGALURU: Lakshmi Shankar is the co-founder of Atta Galata, a bookstore and performance space in Koramangala. The bookstore specialises in Indian books and the performance space has managed to attract a wide range of young artists, authors and performers in the city. The bookstore was founded by Lakshmi and her husband, Subodh Shankar. The couple moved out of this space, that was once their home to settle in an apartment. And instead of selling or renting out their home- they set up this bookstore.
In conversation with City Express, Lakshmi tells us about her favourite book, characters and favourite lines from the Lord of the Rings series.
Your favourite book of all time and why? Could you quote a passage?
Jamaica Inn by Daphne Du Maurier
“Because I want to; because I must; because now and forever more this is where I belong to be.”
Your favourite fictional character and why?
The Hatter from Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and its sequel Through the Looking Glass.
His riddles make for interesting reading and his character is the most well-rounded and complex one. Also, I identify a little bit with some of his eccentricities.
Few lines you got from a book, which you would never forget?
“One Ring to rule them all,
One Ring to find them,
One Ring to bring them all
and in the darkness bind them”
The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings series
What are the five top books released in 2017, according to you?
The impossible Fairy Tale by Han Yujoo
When Crime pays by Milan Vaishnav
The Girl Who couldn’t Love by Shinie Antony
The Goat Thief by Perumal Murugan
The poison of Love by K.R.Meera
One book you would want a first edition of and why?
Vendetta by Marie Corelli. I think Vendetta, The Sorrows of Satan and Thelma were all wonderful books. Vendetta is my favourite book and her style of writing is inimitable..unforgettable.
Which author would you like to have tea with and what would you talk about?
I’d love to have tea with David Beckham. While we could discuss the book My side that I do know something about; we could also discuss the game and business of football which I know very little about.
One advice you would give to your favourite author, and one you would give to terrible writers.
I’d advise my favourite author to keep writing so I could read more. I’d advise terrible writers to keep writing so their writing improves.
Which books would you take with you on a solo holiday?
I’d take any of the books by Leslie Charteris. But if I had to pick one it would be The Saint Bids Diamonds. I could read the series over and over again.
Your one guilty-pleasure read?
The books by Carter Brown.
One fictional character you go to when you need a friend?
I love Professor Nicholas Fenton from The Devil in Velvet by John Dixon Carr. I keep going back to him.
What is one quality of a book you wish people would have?
One book you wish was never written, and why?
I wish the Game of Thrones series was never written. Since it hasn’t been completed and leaves me wanting more.
What is one thing you cannot tolerate when you are reading?
The doorbell ringing.
Your favourite reading nook?
Atta Galatta. I opened it to give people a place to read and I seem to use it for the same purpose too.