Crazy for information

Sivika Prakobsantisukh belongs to the school of travel writers who have to know much more than what they experience during their journey. She doesn't write all she knows, and she has never published a book, but her each and every letter in travel columns she has been contributing to for various magazines is squeezed from a combination of depth of knowledge and first-hand experiences.

"I'm crazy about information. Apart from what I experience myself, I research a lot about places I visit. I read piles of books and many of them are ordered from Amazon," said Sivika.

"I don't write most of the things I read, but I have to know in order to write."

A regular contributor for Elle and Harper's Bazaar, her writing has also appeared in the now-defunct Lips luxe, Fame, Central Premiere and Grazia. With her own experiences, passion for travel, knowledge and peculiar stories she's learned about each place she visits _ both from non-fiction books and novels, where her visited places become the backdrop, setting and moodscape of the storyline _ many can't help wondering why this avid traveller hasn't published a single title.

She smiled at the question (actually, she "typed" the smiley icon since the interview was conducted online).

"I haven't published any compilation of my writing, I feared nobody would buy it."

_ Samila Wenin

What are you reading?

The Caliph's House by Tahir Shah, as I'm travelling to Morocco soon.

What is the book you've always wanted to read, but haven't?

The second volume of the Ibis trilogy called River Of Smoke by Amitav Ghosh.

Why do you want to read that book, and why haven't you read it?

I read the first book, Sea Of Poppies, and I really enjoyed it so I'm looking forward to reading the second book. I haven't managed to read it because I'm still in the middle of reading The Caliph's House, which I'd rather finish with as little interruption as possible. I'd rather find some time to finish the book because once you continue a book after putting it down for a while, you need time to catch up with the story and the mood. If this happens a lot, the book won't be as fun as it should be.

Is there any book that you have read, but never managed to finish it?

Alexandria Quartet by Lawrence Durrell, it's a bulky volume and requires high concentration.

Did you ever buy a book because everybody was talking about it, but when you read it you didn't like it?

The Harry Potter books. I really don't know why I can't go beyond the first 10 pages considering I'm a fan of children's books.

At home, how many books have you bought that you haven't yet started reading?

Over 20.

Have you ever bought a book for its cover? What book is it?

Yes, but that mostly happens with books I have already read, but would buy newer editions with pretty covers when they come out. I have two editions of The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje and I have three copies of Jane Austen's Emma.

What's the last book that made you laugh?

It's been ages since I read a book and laughed. It'd probably be Are You Experienced? by William Sutcliffe.

What's the last book that made you cry?

A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry. How could one's life be that cruel?