Sri Rao is a business administration major from Long Island, NY. As she fixes her code (she is a computer science minor) she looks up and says she is not ready for a picture. Once I assure her that no pictures will be taken, Sri talks to me about her passions. While cats top the list, music and books soon follow.
“I love Caliban”. Clearly, a book lover I ask her when she started reading, or rather, when she started enjoying reading. “Always” is the first reply. “I used to get in trouble for reading to much when I was a little kid…like after lights out” Lights out? “No, more like when it turned twelve and I was still reading.”
Her favorite books? The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde and Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell. And what movie adaptations of books are her favorite? Lord of the Rings is the first reply. “I actually like the movies more than the books.” What about Hobbit? “Not Hobbit”. There she likes the book more than the movie. “I really like movies too”. Her favorites? Birdman, Children of Men, and How to Train a Dragon.
Coming back to reading, what makes her love reading? “Good prose…like prose and when you come across sentences that make you just stop and want to talk about it or share it with someone”. For Sri the ability for a single line to get your attention and mean so much more than a sentence perfectly shows how brilliant books are.
Part of the pleasure of loving to read is being able to share the books you love with others. What books would she recommend? All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque and American Gods by Neil Gaiman. And what would she say to people to encourage them to read? “Because you experience things you wouldn’t experience otherwise…Like I haven’t been to Hogwarts but I feel like I have”.