IIT & IIM alumnus, Sameer Nigam, is the CEO at Stratbeans, a company that drives digital transformation through AIbased online learning. A voracious reader, he enjoys reading books across diverse genres.
Have your reading preferences changed over the years?
Earlier, I read books on specific skills such as sales, marketing, communication, and strategy. But now, I enjoy exploring contemporary ideas that stimulates mental, emotional, and physical well-being. In particular, I enjoy biographies, psychology, science, and business magazines.
What books do you like and what do you dislike?
I don’t read fiction, but otherwise I savour a very broad spectrum of subjects. To do that, I start by sampling it in audio format over Blinkist. If I like the sample, then I go for the full audio or paper version. Also, I prefer reading works written in the last 20 years.
What kind of writing do you appreciate and what kind puts you off ?
I like friendly and assertive writing in colloquial language, as by Mark Manson. I also like expository style with simple language and shorter sentences.
What is it about the written word that audio or visual cannot fulfill?
I love the written word because you can personalise it easily. At IIM Ahmedabad, as students we were encouraged to mark the reading material in many colours and personalise it. I still follow that philosophy. Unlike audio/video, written words make you move at the pace of your understanding. So there is mental exercise involved in reading. Among candidates I have interviewed for an analytical role, I find more competitive ones generally have reading as a hobby. It is also the typesetting, paper colour/ texture/thickness that creates a surreal experience. I am fond of the proverbial ‘new book scent’. And I can spend hours browsing books at large bookstores like Barnes and Nobles when travel l ing or Bahrisons locally.
Do you maintain a book shelf/e-library?
I follow minimalism as an efficient and sustainable way of life. And I intend to own only those items which I may actively engage with. Therefore, I keep no more than 30 books at a time, and I refer to them actively. For e-books/audiobooks, I use Percipio, Storytel and Audible.