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‘Books Are Our Favorite Companions’ – Malvika and Mallika, Founders Of ‘The Reading Twins’ From Mumbai

Hailing from Mumbai, twins Malvika and Mallika Mahidhar, share a great passion for reading and writing. Malvika is a teacher, while Mallika is pursuing law and the two also run their passion project called ‘The Reading Twins’. Their blog is a personal journal of everything they read and also a heaven for book lovers.

Growing up in a house full of books, they’ve been reading books all their lives. Reading is their primary place of comfort. Grab a cup of coffee as we have an intriguing conversation with these two fascinating women!

The Reading Twins!

  • Hello, Malvika and Mallika! We are excited to have you. Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Malvika: I am Malvika. I’m currently a faculty member at a design college in Mumbai. I’m also a writer and am currently working on my first manuscript! Apart from that, I am a self-taught watercolor and acrylic artist.  

Mallika: I am Mallika, a reader and a lawyer who loves postcards, clouds and cats.

  • What inspired you two to start your own book blog?

We always wanted to do something about our large pile of books. That inspired us to share what we’re reading and what we love about books through @thereadingtwins on Instagram!

Our creative spark was also lit right after we met Ruskin Bond in his hometown, an evening we will never forget! In the spirit of this wondrous encounter, our very first post on our Instagram is that of a pile of Ruskin Bond books.

He is a writer who has been an inspiration to us ever since we read about Rusty and his adventures, at the age of ten. 

The Reading Twins met Ruskin Bond at Cambridge Bookstore, Mussoorie

Malvika posing with her books and art.

  • What influenced you to become story connoisseurs? What do books mean to you?

Growing up, we were always surrounded by books. Books mean everything to us. They have always been there, the perfect companion, in the happiest and darkest of times! They have also introduced us to so many concepts, ideas and perspectives.

Their grandmother reading.

  • That sounds lovely! Tell us more about your home of books.

Our grandfather, grandmother and parents are all readers. The television was nothing but a box for our family. Surrounded by adults who would rather be reading than doing anything else, we became like them too. The diversity of books they read created a curiosity for learning and led us to explore a myriad of books of our own as well. 

  • How do you balance your work and your passion project?

Malvika: I am a teacher so reading is a huge part of my work life as well. When I am not in the classroom, I am in the library! This is also where I talk about books on Instagram. Away from work, I am constantly reading and blogging, I am always sharing my reading journey on the blog. 

Malvika – perusing books at a bookstore.

Mallika – reading every chance she gets – in the back of an auto

Mallika: I work crazy hours and don’t end up blogging as much as I (and my twin) would like. However, I manage to put stories up while commuting or share when I read something humorous. 

A part of their book collection

  • How do you curate the books you put up on ‘The Reading Twins’?

Honestly, everything we personally read is on our Instagram. We want to talk about our guilty pleasures, discuss the trashy books we consume (we make sure to read a few once in a while), our childhood favourites, and every other book we can get our hands on. There is no particular screening process for the books we feature.

Our inspiration for the blog has mostly been the wide bookstagram community, but we later imbibed the kind of aesthetic we have on our personal accounts.

Both of us are different in the way we talk about books and also have separate aesthetic senses, which obviously reflects on our feed, but this keeps things relatable and refreshing.

  • What do you hope people take away from your blog?

Just more reading! Plus, not to make excuses for lack of time to read (which we also do). 

  • Any exciting books around the corner? 

Malvika: I have planned on spending November and December reading books about Van Gogh, one of my inspirations. I can’t wait to begin! 

Mallika: I finally planned on reading ‘A Suitable Boy’ by Vikram Seth along with a couple of authors from countries I have not read anything about! 

  • What are your top three books for a newbie reader! 

Malvika:

The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje, 

Watchmen by Alan Moore, 

The Room on the Roof by Ruskin Bond and 

I cannot resist adding an extra one – A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein. 

Mallika:

All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Dooer, 

One Hundred Nights of Hero and it’s companion book – The Encyclopaedia of Early Earth by Isabel Greenberg, 

Lastly, Attachments by Rainbow Rowell.

With these exciting suggestions, we encourage you to follow their blog on Instagram to help you pick-up your next book. While most blogs focus on the reading aspect of a book, the reading twins are versatile in their choice of books and appreciate adult illustration books (graphic novels, comics, pop-ups etc) and even children books as well. You will definitely find your perfect book!

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