India could soon be facing a predicament of having more writers than readers, feels iconic author Ruskin Bond. Bond also said the publishing industry in the country has developed and matured over the years, benefitting young writers.
The 85-year-old author was in the city recently to launch 'myELSA', an English learning app for school students.
"Publishing has come of age and more and more writers are making a good living out of it... But, I think with so many people writing now, there is a danger of having more writers than readers," he said in reply to a question on the present Indian literary scenario.
"After all, we want people also to buy them (books)," the celebrated author told PTI.
In a word of advice for budding writers, the 'Padma Bhushan' awardee said they must be sure to be able to write first. "Confidence in the language is a must. You should have something to say and be able to research on it well. Clarity is key."
On the increasing trend of people turning to e-books and other alternatives on the digital platform, Bond said the printed book is still the first choice for those in love with literature and reading.
"I would call e-books and other such apps an extension, in a way, of people's reading habits. They offer convenience and are useful for seeking information or hone one's writing and speaking skills. But, printed books are here to stay as a form of pleasurable reading," he said.
Talking about his favourite authors, Bond said there have been "too many" since his childhood days, but Charles Dickens, Somerset Maugham and Rabindranath Tagore are among his most-loved writers.