Published: 02nd June 2018
Feisty 20-year-old Banaja Prakashini from Puri reviews books to earn her pocket money
Read. Review. Repeat. That's the mantra of Banaja Prakashini who has recently started reviewing products as well
In the middle of our conversation, 20-year-old Banaja Prakashini suddenly burst into laughter, quickly apologised and confessed, "It's usually me who conducts the interviews, not the other way round." And such is the life of Prakashini, a student of SCS (Autonomous) College, Puri who reviews books and interviews authors, and has been doing so for the past three years. She also gets paid for it! "Just enough to manage without asking my parents for pocket money," she says. And now, she has started reviewing products as well! Lipsense Lip cream and Kleanse Hand Sanitizer were the first products she reviewed.
Yes, I intend to do this forever because I love reviewing books
Banaja Prakashini, student
Prakashini's love for books brought her to this path. Though she started doing this with three of her friends, eventually she was the only one left in the group. She learned how to write reviews, "which came very naturally to me, frankly," she adds. Prakashini began by writing reviews of the books she read — both on her blog and on sites like Amazon and Goodreads. She used to receive review requests from publishers like Half Baked Beans, Hachette, and Bloomsbury but started cutting back on them because she did not want to do injustice to her academics. "Now, I only take up two to three book reviews a month because I want to do justice to this too. Reviewing is something I love doing, it makes me happy," says the young girl from Puri, who admits that in her initial reviews she used to be brutally harsh with her opinions, but has now learned to put across her point more reasonably.
Prakashini has interviewed authors like Geetika Jain, Dr Jyotika Teckchandani, and others. Some of the most recent books she has reviewed are Dead to Them, Genuine Fraud and others
Prakashini’s blog receives 3,000 hits per month on an average. She has also started reviewing products, which she considers to be a far bigger challenge than books, "because one has to use products for a considerable amount of time to really judge its effects," she states matter-of-factly. Towards the end, Prakashini leaves us with a writing tip, "You don't have to say nice things just because you are getting free copies and samples. Just be honest!"
Check her reviews out at banajaprakashini.in