Nerd of the Month, Diva Parekh, shares her love of Harry Potter and explains why she prefers hardcover to paperback. Diva hails from Mumbai and has been a camper at Great Books Stanford, and a centerpiece of our Open Mic night, where she is known to bring down the house with her complete recitation of the first chapter of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. This summer, she joins us at Amherst in the Senior Seminar program!
What projects are you working on right now?
Since I have French orals tomorrow, I’m trying to answer all these questions in French and then translate them back.
Where are you going to school/where are you in the world?
I live in Mumbai right now, but only for 4 more months I’m moving to the US for university.
Relationship to Great Books:
Student for now, hopefully PA in a year or two.
Nerdy fun fact:
I read Lord of the Flies accidentally in the 3rd grade (because the kids section was boring me) and got depressed for a week. I shall brave it again during spring break because somehow I’ve wiped it from my mind.
What’s your nerdiest attribute?
I’ve inadvertently memorized all 7 books of the Harry Potter series after Order of the Phoenix literally saved my life. (Very long story)
Don’t do this to me, I can’t choose and you know that
What are you reading right now?
Chronicle of a Death Foretold
How many (and which) fictional/dead languages do you speak?
If Morse code is a language… No dead/fictional languages right now but I’m going to learn Latin this summer.
Favorite/least favorite word?
Least favorite – glug
Favorite – kerfuffle
Which nerd in history would you most like to have a late brunch with?
Nietzsche on the brink of insanity
Who was your first fictional crush?
Chamber of Secrets Harry Potter
Which author would you want to write your story?
Who would win in a fight? Dumbledore’s Army vs. the Avengers
Dumbledore’s Army because a) they get along a lot better than the Avengers and b) there’s always the threat of everlasting acne if you mess with them, and that’s something most of the Avengers would run from.
Can the movie ever be better than the book?
No – because however hard they try, they don’t get the depth of the book across. And they end up removing parts of the story, which is acceptable because they have to, but still frustrating.
Do you prefer hardcover books or paperback, and why?
Hardcover books – I’m obsessive about my books so I have to put a lot of effort into making sure the corners of my paperbacks don’t bend. With hardcover books, they just stay straight and perfectly aligned. Also I can use the book jacket as a bookmark, which is always fun.
Who would your Lord of the Rings spirit character be?
Young Bilbo Baggins (I’m forever short, love food, love pocket-handkerchiefs and hate large spiders).
If you were building the perfect literary debate team, which three authors would you nominate for your team? Chinua Achebe, Kurt Vonnegut, Ayn Rand