BOOKWORM INTERVIEW 11: With Raja Ummi Nadrah (Travel Blogger For Ummi Goes Where?)
Fadima Mooneira is back with the first episode for Bookworm Interview 2021. Syukur Alhamdulillah, the bookworm interview series received good participation last year. That's why I decided to continue the interview series this year.
For today's episode, I interview a Malaysian travel blogger named Raja Ummi Nadrah (Ummi). Ummi is a Malaysian woman who loves traveling. She shares her traveling experiences on her blog, Ummi Goes Where? with her readers. Her experiences are awesome.
Ok, so let's carry on with this interview. You guys can check out Ummi's blog and her socmed links in the profile below...
ABOUT RAJA UMMI NADRAH
The adventurous lady behind Ummi Goes Where? blog - Raja Ummi Nadrah ^_^
Travel blogger, solo traveler, an aspiring writer, daydreamer, procrastinator, bathroom singer, book molester (I like to sniff their pages and run my hand on their covers, especially if they have embossed lettering), cat and dog molester (I will pet any cats and dogs in my path, sometimes without consent), and occasionally, waitress/bartender.
Ummi is an introverted traveler who would cross the road to avoid talking to you, unless you're walking your dog, in which case she would stop to say hi...to your dog.
Social Media Links (Just Click on Each Link)
Blog: Ummi Goes Where?
Facebook Page: Ummi Goes Where?
YouTube: Ummi Goes Where?
1. When did you first start reading for pleasure?
I learned my alphabet at age 2. Started reading for pleasure at age 3. Yes, my mom started me young. :-D
2. What was the first book/novel you read?
I read a lot of fairy tales and illustrated classics when I was little, but none memorable enough to mention.
The first full-length novel I read was "Homecoming" by Cynthia Voigt. My English wasn't very good back then, so it took me a few months to finish the 480-paged book. By the time I reached the last page, it felt as though I had known those characters in real life and I had to say goodbye to them. It was the first time I felt a sense of loss after finishing a book.
3. What genre do you read?
My interests are pretty varied, I would say. I love memoirs of any kind, but especially travel memoirs by female authors. Recently I've started reading more psychological thrillers.
4. Do you judge a book by its cover?
Yes, I think there's no shame in that. That's why authors and publishers put a lot of effort and money on book cover designs -- because they're important. A book cover can tell you a lot about a book before you even read the title or subtitle. Based on the font choice, color scheme, and illustration, you can tell whether the book is horror or chick lit, for example. Bestsellers and award winners are also easily recognizable by their covers.
I often get my books from book fairs and secondhand shops, where the books are not always arranged according to their genres. Sometimes, there are piles of them on the floor. So, I've learned to judge a book quickly with only a glimpse of its cover or spine.
5. What is your all-time favorite book/novel and why? Do you repeat reading it?
Ah, this is a cruel question for any bookworm! How can we possibly pick one? BUT if I really had to choose, I'd have to say Homecoming by Cynthia Voigt (same as above), not because it's better than the rest, but because it was my first love. And you don't forget your first love. Unfortunately, I never repeat any book. There are too many books, too little time. And I'm scared the magic would be gone the second time around. I want to keep remembering it the way I remember it now if that makes sense.
6. Would you recommend your favorite book/novel to other bookworms?
Yes, but it depends on their personal taste. This is a YA book, which is not everyone's cup of tea. I'm not even sure if I'd feel the same way about it if I read it now. But it stays my favorite because of its sentimental value and how it impacted me as a child.
7. Who is your favorite author?
My preferences have evolved over the years. I liked Christopher Pike (horror/thriller) in my early teens, and after that, Cecelia Ahern and Sophie Kinsella (chick lit). In my early 20s, I really enjoyed Jodi Picoult (courtroom thriller), especially her earlier books because she wrote a lot about controversial issues, such as abortion, mercy killing, school shooting, homosexuality, and suicide pact has gone wrong, to name a few. Now, I'm a big fan of David Sedaris, Jonas Jonasson, and Fredrik Backman. (Sorry, can't pick one this time!)
8. What ambiance do you prefer for reading? Quiet at home? Or somewhere green and serene?
Quiet at home, with natural lighting, the breeze from an open window, and the smell of fresh laundry. Preferably with no one else around other than a big, fat, lazy cat curled on my lap. No music.
9. How's the reading culture in your country?
I used to work in the biggest bookstore in Malaysia. In the beginning, I was surprised to see that there were actually so many Malaysians -- young and old -- who still loved to read (we made hundreds of thousands of sales per month). In this current time and age, you'd think more people would have switched to e-books if they read at all. But no, a lot of them still prefer conventional paperbacks. That's awesome, don't you think?
But I also saw many young parents try to instill the love of reading in their children from a young, which was great but would have been better if they led by example and practiced what they preached. Unfortunately, they themselves didn't like to read (this was something they readily admitted). Of course, it's understandable that young parents don't have a lot of time on their hands, but I personally know full-time working mothers who read a few books per month and still have time to prepare lunchboxes for their kids every day and other motherly duties. They find opportunities on their lunch breaks while commuting to work, before starting work, or while waiting in line for something. So, I don't think lack of time is the real issue here. You make time for things that matter to you.
10. Do you have any idea on how to improve the reading culture in your country?
I'm glad that we have multiple book fairs each year, selling books at heavily discounted prices, as well as also book-lover communities, such as the KL Book Exchange that organizes monthly meetups for book-exchange sessions. The government also provides free books at some public places like train stations, so I think we're already on the right track here. These efforts make books more accessible to those who can't afford them otherwise, because let's face it -- books can be expensive.
On another note, as time goes on, I think people will eventually switch to electronic reading materials. So, we might as well start making more books available in digital formats now to appeal to people who are already spending most of their time on electronics.
Ok Ummi, thank you for spending your precious time with me. I really appreciate that. Thank you too for sharing your book knowledge and reading passion with my readers and me. I wish you all the best in your career and the whole future. Pls, keep on sharing your awesome traveling experiences with us.
For those who are interested to join this interview, pls feel free to read the advertisements below...
All you need to do is email me your answers, profile, best selfie, and pictures at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Besides the bookworm interview, I'm also doing a BLOGGER INTERVIEW series on my blog this year. If anyone of you is interested to participate pls click this link >> FADIMA MOONEIRA BLOGGERS INTERVIEW (not the picture below ya ;) ).
Ok, that's all for now. Thank you for reading this interview. Hope to see you guys again soon.
Fadima Mooneira ^_^
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