Read our correspondent’s opinion on the book Fangirl. 

Fangirl is a coming–of–age story of two twins who grew up in the world of online fandoms. The protagonist, Cath, assisted by her twin Wren is one of the most successful fanfiction authors on the web based off of their favourite books. Wren and Cath had done everything together, owing to the absence of their mother in their lives growing up, until now. Moving out to university in Nebraska, Wren does not wish to be roommates with her twin and the decision proves difficult for Cath who has evolved into an introvert, being overly attached to Wren- her best friend and only link to a social life. Now being separated from her only source of comfort, Cath must face the life of a freshman in university, dealing with anxiety, a rude, eccentric roommate and hyperactive Levi, the guy who just won’t leave her alone.

Every chapter begins with excerpts from not only Cath’s fan fiction but also the “canons” from the Simon Snow books, which she is so intricately and deeply in love with. Through her writing, Cath can express things she can’t in real life, where she’s extremely reclusive and socially inept. Wren was the only one able to link with Cath and her parallel realities, but now she seems uncaring in her own party-life. Shaken, Cath finds solace in the company of Levi, and the emergency dance parties with him.

More than anything, the book proves to be extremely relatable. An easy, laidback yet creative and funny writing style aptly complements the fresh narrative layered with empathy, emotion and understanding.  

I’d wave my hands around and make noises to make everyone read this absolutely delightful yet a book that makes you think. It made all the emotional goosebumps and the teary-eyed reading and the big sighs happen for me as a reader. I so identified with Cath, with her determination, her directness and her fear of being a part of a world which was far from reality but brought her peace and ease when nothing else could.

So, fan-people, grab your copies today and let’s get that emergency dance party going.

 “Cath felt like she was swimming in words. Drowning in them, sometimes.”

– Rainbow Rowell, Fangirl


Feature Image Credits: Thoughts of a Bibliophile

Bhavya Pandey

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On the occasion of Frankenstein Day, let’s look into the life of acclaimed author Mary Shelley and her widely celebrated work ‘Frankenstein’.

Born on 30th August 1797, Mary Shelley isn’t a name unknown to the literature enthusiasts. At a young age of 18, she made a mark for herself amongst the literary greats with her widely celebrated horror novel Frankenstein.

Her novel, born out of a friendly discussion and instigation by Lord Byron, earned her the title of “mother of horror stories”. With no prior writing experience, she displayed an exemplary display of her skills with Frankenstein, and reflected the literary genes she accrued from her parents- political writer William Godwin and famed feminist Mary Wollstonecraft.

30th August marks itself as ‘Frankenstein Day’ to honour and celebrate this literary gem and her masterpiece.

Touching upon the themes of incessant quest for dangerous knowledge, ambition, and monstrosity, Frankenstein, published in 1818 is a masterpiece, remarkable in every aspect of its being.

Victor Frankenstein, a scientist with his quench for forbidden knowledge discovers how to create a living being out of inanimate dead beings. Putting his research into practice, Victor creates a living monster which he abandons at its very first glimpse, filled with hate and disgust for his creation.

Little did Victor know that in the process of creation of the monster, he is writing his and his family’s doom.

What provokes the reader’s thoughts is the diminishing line between the monster and Victor with the question of what it is to be a monster, which underplays in the text. How human is the monster and how monstrous is Victor becomes the theme which prevents the novel from becoming a flat-read of black and white characters.

The novel masterfully puts forth the perspective of the monster, and the sense of alienation and loneliness which engulfed him after his creator Victor abandoned him. As Victor goes on to continually defend his actions, Mary ultimately questions his ambitions and, cryptically, holds him responsible for all the suffering he and his family undergo.

Frankenstein is filled with suffering, death, and sadness and many critics find it to be a reflection of Mary’s own life filled with suffering. She lost her mother when she was barely ten days old, eloped with and married Percy Shelley when she was 16, and she lost him a few years later and three of her four children before they even touched the age of three.

Thus, her life filled with tragedy is reflected in her most famous work.

This novel laid the foundation for all the coming science fiction and horror novels and earned itself a classic position. With pertinent themes and intriguing narration, Frankenstein becomes a poignant read.

It’s not every other novel that has a special day to its name. So, cosy up in your beds this rainy weekend with a cup of coffee in one hand and Frankenstein in another.


Frankenstein by Mary Shelley is a part of English Honours’ fourth-semester syllabus.

Feature Image Credits: Looking-glass Theatre Company


Shreya Agrawal

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A year in this space has made me question my personal notions- what kind of diversity do we have? And is the presence of diversity the same as accepting it- those who bring it to the University of Delhi (DU)- with open arms? Read a take on the culture of shaming in a space meant for diversity.

For a University situated in the Capital of a nation that sells itself to globalisation with the tagline ‘Unity in Diversity’, cultural, economic, and social diversity is always a good self-promotional point. However, if you have been in DU for even a semester, the rose-tinted lenses wear off soon enough. We may have students from all over the country and beyond, but our academic and cultural spaces have not learnt the rhetoric of respecting the history that comes with different family and socio-economic backgrounds.

An average day in an English literature classroom in a  college considered ‘intellectual’- like Lady Shri Ram College- involves professors coming in class, throwing names of critics (mostly foreigners, usually white), and expecting students to have read them. An academic space is meant to challenge you, and to inform you about things you were formerly ignorant of. But the sighs of disappointment, ‘how do you call yourself educated’, and steely eyes filled with judgement when one is unaware of what the professor is speaking of; all are methods of shaming that do more damage than the promised ‘good’. 

It is unfairly ignorant to only speak of professors and classrooms as the harbingers of this attitude, since our own friend circles play a significant role in this process. We, as young-adults stepping outside the comfort of our homes, seek a sense of self-worth and validation from our friends. When belittled for listening to a certain kind of music, or for not having watched or read a movie or book considered ‘high art’, it is inevitable to lose faith in our intellectual capabilities. To be told that you need to have done specific, mostly privileged, and expensive things in order to fit in, is not only elitist, but also a form of childish bullying that all of us have been subjected to.

Most of us have not grown up with our fathers playing vinyl records of Bob Dylan or The Beatles to us as kids. The tag of a Grammar Nazi (wrong on every level), that we wear as a badge of honour will never encourage somebody to learn better English, but will be a reminder of the inefficiencies in their background. It says something about their history, over which they did not have active control, but it defines you as a person- an elitist who does not wish to be kinder and more empathetic.

To recognise that there are conditionings different than your own is a significant aspect of mental maturity that DU colleges fail to instil in us. Challenging us academically or giving us a plethora of resources to learn from is the thing one seeks, but DU’s rather popular culture of shaming us into learning is psychologically flawed, and ethically problematic in a time when we are learning and unlearning the caste, class, and cultural privileges and meritocracy. It is true that DU is not the only place where the culture of shaming is prominent and propagated, but when I think of DU, I think of diversity. To have diversity comes with the need to accept it, and I know our classrooms can change for the better. Arundhati Roy said, “To love. To be loved… To try and understand… And never, never to forget.” (If you have not read her, it’s okay. Take this as my recommendation, if you were looking for one?) I hope, DU does not forget its role and duty to diversity- intellectual and of all kinds- and understands that we are all learning, and we can do with a little kindness.

Anushree Joshi 

[email protected]

DUBeat brings to you a basic guide to some of the most common book markets around Delhi NCR to buy college books from.

As the new semester rolls out and we get out of our beds to get to college again, we again enter the struggle for acquiring books, both, new, or first-hand. For those in or around the North campus, it is relatively easier with Kamla Market and ‘The Bookstore’, ‘Amar Books’ etc.  yet for those who aren’t able to easily access these stores or simply those who can’t find all books here there are plenty of other decent and cheap places that one can go to, to get their semester books.

The list bellow will provide you with various options to explore:

  • Paharganj – a traveller’s ghetto, situated opposite to the New Delhi Railway Station, this main market provides with not only books but other beautiful accessories as well, an easy to bargain place where most of your basic books are found easily.
  • Chawri Bazar – little needs to be explained about this place, as it is already well known amongst all, the stationary and books lane is right next to the metro exit no. 3/4, a largely wholesale market, which also has a lot of shops selling single books at very low prices.
  • Daryaganj – another place that needs no introduction, one of the most famous book markets in Delhi. A haven for all bookworms, it is a must visit place for not only college but any and all kinds of books.
  • Rajiv Chowk/ Connaught Place – right in the centre of Delhi,  this place is filled with all kinds of markets, and needless to say you can find books as well, from second hand stores on roadside to proper shops from college books, it posses all stores to cater all needs.
  • Atta Market – opposite the famous Noida Sec. 18 market is Atta Market a cheap market for all goods, as such it also has a lane for books an other stationary, with multiple shops selling second and first hand books at discounted prices.
  • Book Fairs at Pragati Maidan – not a lot of people don’t know about the famous book fairs of Pragati Maidan, apart from the international book fair, that happens annually, there are multiple simple book fairs that are set up multiple times around the year, one can be on the look out for them and easily go and grab books straight from the publishing house stalls set up there.
  • Sadar Bazar – This market in Gurugram is one of the largest book markets in NCR. From Engineering Physics book to any English course book, you can find everything here at the cheapest prices. The innumerable shops crowded together here also stock new arrivals so do keep an eye out and you might have a deal in your hands.


These basic well known and dependable markets around Delhi are the best solution to those in search for where to get college books from cheap. As such there are sure to be other places as well, and we would love to hear from you guys If you know of any other such market. We hope this article will help all those who were having a hard time looking for book markets, to either buy or sell books.  



Feature Image Credits: The Indian Express

Haris Khan

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A glimpse into Delhi’s only ‘Leftist bookstore’ and what truly makes it one of its kind…

As you step out of a crowded metro coach on the blue line of the metro at a little station called Shadipur, you will see nothing significant out of the blue. At Shadipur, a settlement nestled in the folds of West Delhi, plain good ole Delhi shops and residential areas will greet your eyes. But if the explorer side in you is awakened and you look deeper, you will find an amusing art space. The mundane streets of this area hide a unique bookstore whose sign reads the word ‘May Day’ in Devanagari and English.

The May Day Bookstore is a joint for bibliophiles with a different touch. Right from its location and a look at its door (which reads ‘8 hours for work, 8 hours for rest, 8 hours for book and coffee’), you will get a breath of fresh air. This is no big shot book retailer’s outlet and neither is it a shack of pirated paperbacks. May Day can be referred to as a CCCP, which was the same Russian abbreviation used to denote Soviet Union. In May Day’s case, CCCP can stand for a Cultural Communist Coffee Space and that’s what it is. As the name suggests, the store was founded about six years back on the first of May, the worker’s day celebrated by Socialists and Communists worldwide.

The store’s pages and its wall’s faces bleed out the red shades of the Leftist school of thought. This becomes evident from the fact that it is managed by Leftword Books, which has been producing books that emphasise the views and issues of the Left in India and South Asia. So naturally, you can find racks here filled with books on peasant movements, trade unions, tribal activists and many other such themes. You can scan through these paperbacks under the watchful eyes of painted murals of Marx and Che Guevara, feminist posters and handbags featuring the faces of Bhagat Singh and BR Ambedkar. Within the bookstore, there is also a performance space for theatre, dance, talks and other cultural activities, called Studio Safdar.

The approach and setting of this place hence make it a spot worth exploring. It’s still funny if you think it out in your head if today a Right-wing bookstore also opens up in some corner of the city. What controversy would that brew! Well, that can be a debate for some other day. Till then freedom of speech for all!

But apart from the looks and books, it is not exclusively meant for Leftists and is open for readers of all types. Second hand books, classic bestsellers and works by up and coming writers from small independent publishers are also available at May Day. So, it is not necessary if red is your favourite shade or if you believe Karl Marx is Santa Claus to be a part of the May Day family. Therefore, if you are a bookworm in Delhi looking for a new store to raid, or if you are plain bored and wish to explore a spot with artsy aesthetics for your Instagram stories, or if you are a passionate Delhiite trying to run away from the capitalist malls on the lookout for a humbler milieu, then you may like to pay a visit to May Day…

Feature Image Credits: May Day Bookstore

Shaurya Thapa

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Classics are a great way to do go back in time for an escape and introspection. Take yourself on a great getaway this summer with our ultimate list of must-read classics.

 As the summer is dawning upon us, most of us have already made our post-exam plans. To help pass time in the long vacation, we present a list of time-honoured novels:

  1. Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë (1847):

Powerful and passionate, this novel explores two generations of characters in the windy moors of 18th and 19th century England. The gothic elements of the novel brings alive the disturbing and haunting melody of the moors through its vibrant characters like Catherine and Heathcliffe.

  1. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (1813):

Probably one of the most famous English novels ever, Austen’s brilliant satire and irony exudes through her characters. A strong-willed Elizabeth Bennet, and the broody, gentlemanly Edward Darcy. As Elizabeth discovers and confronts her faults and her vanity, she unravels what is probably one of the greatest love stories of our time.

  1. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov (1955):

This disturbingly thought-provoking novel is bound to shake you to the core. The story follows the raw, bloody desire of the middle-aged professor Humbert Humbert, for the 12-year old Dolores Haze (whom he nicknames Lolita). Nabokov’s controversial work remains one of the most vibrant explorations into the dark side of human nature.

  1. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë (1847):

A must-read for all feminists, this novel follows the blossoming of Jane Eyre into spiritual and emotional maturity. Brontë’s magnum opus is often considered revolutionary as it highlights themes of sexuality, religion, classism, and religion through the fiercely independent and perceptive nature of its protagonist.

  1. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy (1873-77):

What is considered to be Tolstoy’s most autobiographical work, the novel follows the web of lives of Anna Karenina, Count Vronsky, Oblonksky, and Alexei Alexandrovich Karenin, in a period of turmoil in Russian history. However, it is the brutal realism of Tolstoy’s words that is the most redeeming quality of the novel.



Feature Image Credits: Inc.

Sara Sohail

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Litwit is a rental service for books, created by the students of Delhi Technological University (DTU). Although it is a new venture, the project is already a boon for the readers struggling with steep prices and lack of space in their shelves.

A recent product of Delhi Technological University (DTU), Litwit, is an endeavour to bring books closer to bibliophiles. Arunima Goyal and Shivam Narang, both final year engineering students, came up with the idea to share their common love for books. The team, which started the project under the Incubation and Innovation Foundation (IIF), provide various services from renting books at the price of INR 3 to 5 per day, to a longer period of subscription for a month of six to eight books at INR 300. The team makes sure that the books are delivered to the reader’s doorstep with a nominal transportation charge (for orders below INR 200). Arunima Goyal claims that they would also start with a book exchange program soon wherein readers can exchange their books based on their common interests. Their website (litwit.in) also offers a blogging platform for the readers to post their views on their favourite literature.


For the time being, Litwit remains the only rental service for books in Delhi. It is perfect for young bibliophiles who are on a budget. They can select from over 400 books on their website, to rent and subscribe books. The founders of this venture, Arunima and Shivam, also have plans for bringing together their readers into a broader literary community where one can interact with other interested readers about their favorite books. Arunima claims that Litwit is endeavouring to bridge the gap between e-commerce and social media platforms. Although both of them exist separately, they do not exist in coalition to provide a service like this. The venture has already made its mark in several fests of the University of Delhi (DU) this season to garner considerable enthusiasm from the audience.


Feature Image Credits: Saubhagya Saxena for DU Beat.

Sara Sohail

[email protected]


st century because of its themes of dreams, aspirations and rebellion against the societal norms. Maggie’s need for love and acceptance makes her one of the most likeable characters in the novel as it becomes very easy to resonate with her. Though Tom’s character might seem unfavourable at lot of places, it does not become impossible to empathise with him.  It is a book which will leave a mark behind and will stay with you long after you have finished reading it.   Image Credits: E-Books Directory Anukriti Mishra ([email protected])]]>

Painting is silent poetry, and poetry is painting that speaks. -Plutarch Words alone cannot express the impact of poetry in our lives. Precisely with that thought in perspective, we got in touch with Harnidh Kaur, the author of the trending book, ‘The Inability of Words’. Packed with hard-hitting insights through thoughtful expressions, Harnidh’s take on life through poetry is reflected through the book. The Inability of Words is one of those books that you would keep next to you to read and re-read, again and again. Every poem in its simplicity is relatable, hard-hitting yet truly honest. The pieces have the ability to draw the reader into the world of the poet’s perspective, where it is clear to see that each poem has a long story behind it. The book follows a unique approach – right from the cover of the book to the content of the poems itself. As you go through the poems, you can see the growth of the poet through her journey, forcing you think about your own perspectives. Each line of the book reflects the author’s personality, wit, observations and emotions. It is definitely an inspiring and motivational for all poetry fans. To know more, Harnidh further tells us about her journey and first book.

1. Could you tell us a little about yourself?

Well. I’m a Bombay-Delhi girl. I live (and love) between the cities. I’m currently pursuing my masters in public policy from St. Xavier’s, Mumbai, and balancing a writing, and policy career side by side. If anyone asks me what I want to do, I say I’m an UPSC aspirant (which I am!), but secretly, I want to be Nigella Lawson.

2. What was the inspiration behind writing this book?

I was in a state of transition in my last year of college. Between shifting cities, entering a new phase of life, and grappling with new paradigms, I found myself writing, furiously so. However, for however much I wrote, the correct expression never quite came together until I actually collated that work into a book. Hence, names it ‘The Inability of Words.’ [caption id="attachment_43947" align="aligncenter" width="512"]Harnidh Kaur Harnidh Kaur[/caption]

3. What was your journey like?

Hectic! Eight drafts, and so many editorials back and forth, fights over which poems to include, grammatical disagreements. All smack dab in the middle of starting a new college, and adjusting into a new city. It’s all worth it, though…all of it.

4. We’ve heard your book has been gaining quick growth. Could you tell us some interesting facts about the same?

Well, it sells out really fast. I ascribe it to the fact that I’m a fairly approachable writer. People can talk to me. And well, I hope it’s because my book isn’t too bad, haha.

5. What’s your typical daily routine?

Currently, I go to office at 8:30 am to 4 pm, then college from 5 pm to 8 pm. But usually, I’m up by 8; I study, read, get college work done, and attend class. I don’t have a specific writing time because I’m always writing. There’s no process. I literally wrote my entire book on my phone. That’s what writing is about for me – an unbridled explosion of observations and thoughts.

6. What advice would you give to your readers?

Firstly, buy poetry. Keep buying it. It’s your contribution to keep a dying art alive. Secondly, fit poems into your context. Don’t try to fathom mine. This book is for you, I promise.]]>

This time arrives every year, when all book lovers excitedly queue outside the gates of Pragati Maidan, waiting to treat their eyes and minds to an abundance of books and all things literary.

As is evident, we are talking about Book Fair (one that happens in the month of September is Delhi Book Fair and the one in January-February is the New Delhi World Book Fair), but why restrict it to the hardcore readers? While there’s no gainsaying the fact that the halls are a haven for readers, the fair also holds  the promise of making the non-readers fall in love with reading.
And as a student, we need to absolutely pay a visit to the fair at least once. Once is enough to make you return every time.
Here’s why:

1. Wide variety

The book fair houses a multitude of books, from novels to educational books, to comics. You name it and the fair has it. As college students, it is necessary for us to read more than just course books, and reference books for preparation of entrance examinations.

2. Cheap Bargains

Last time I visited the fair, I managed to lay hands on books for as cheap as ?20. It just takes some sorting and searching, and you can save a lot of money, and still get to own a decent collection of novels and non-fiction books.  And since college students are always broke, this seems a good way to save up.

3. Book launches and author meetups

The book fairs have, from the past few years been a hub for author meet-ups, book signings, panel discussions and book launches. This makes them the intellectual arena for literary exchanges and fangirling.

4. Stationery fair

The book fair is almost always accompanied by a stationery fair. Who can appreciate stationery as much as students do? Beautiful diaries, pens, folders, notebooks, among other things, all under one giant roof.
Featured Image credits: Newberry.org
Kritika Narula