For a while now I’ve had this little bee in my bonnet about starting a feature on this space where I’d get to chat with book bloggers for a bit. Whenever I visit a new blog, I always find my way to the “about” page, in the hopes of learning more about the person behind the words. I thought it would be fun to combine the two and start a weekly feature where I share a virtual cuppa (be it tea or coffee) with a book blogger friend.
Here’s how it’ll work: every Monday I will be featuring a book blogger on this space, by having them answer a series of questions about themselves so that we may learn more about them. And to get the ball rolling, I thought I’d turn the spotlight my way and answer these questions first… So technically I will be interviewing myself. A little weird but let’s get started.
So, let’s get the obvious question out of the way – who is Nihaad? Tell us a bit about the book lover behind the blog.
I’m a twenty something biblio all the way from Cape Town, South Africa, married to my best friend; and together we’ve been ticking things off of our very long bucket list. I’m a thrill seeker – I love a good adventure and if this adventure provides a challenge, along with an adrenaline rush then I’ll do whatever I can to see it through. I’ve always loved mathematics, science and technology; but I also need a creative outlet to keep the balance intact. I’m not well travelled but it is a dream of mine to see as many places around the globe as I can.
Everyone has a story and I’m positive you do too. What inspired you to start blogging? And how did you come up with the name for your space?
When I graduated after my three years of studying civil engineering I started my first job to get some experience in the field, with the intention of continuing my studies to specialize in structural engineering. During this time I became increasingly frustrated and felt the need for that “creative outlet” which I spoke of in the answer above. I never considered myself to be a writer but after years of following different blogs from different niches, I thought it would be fun to start one of my own. I registered a blog on WordPress.com where I shared some of my adventures, career experiences and books I read. Before long I found myself writing about books more than anything else, and decided to buy my own domain.
I’ve always been a curious person. If a question is posed or if something doesn’t make sense to me, I will do everything I can to seek answers to put things into perspective. Since it became obvious that the space would be about books, I found Read and Seek to be a fitting name for the site.
From one book blogger to another, I know how much time goes into crafting a post that you feel comfortable enough posting for the world to see. Looking back, what was your favourite post to write?
My favourite book review was definitely Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys, while my favourite discussion post was My Issue with Female Narrators in YA Contemporary Books.
Getting a lil personal; what is your biggest achievement to date? Is there a moment you are especially proud of when you look back on all you’ve accomplished so far?
I am proud to have graduated, even if I don’t particularly see myself pursuing it further. To me it’s not about the qualification; it’s more about the fact that I accomplished the goal that I had my sights on since I was in high school.
Do you have a bucket list stashed away somewhere with some daring (or more subdued) activities that you’d like to complete? Name 5 items on your list.
Of course! Like I said before – I am an adrenaline junkie!
5 activities on my list includes: bungee jumping, shark cage diving, sky diving, paragliding and to travel as much as possible.
“Hakuna Matata – it means no worries, for the rest of your days.” Do you have a motto in life? If yes, let us know what it is.
Sabr – it is the Islamic virtue of “patience” or “perseverance”. I was never a patient person, until somewhere along the line I learned that there are things that will always be out of my control and it wouldn’t help me if I constantly worried about those things.
Let’s talk books for a bit… How did reading become such a big part of your life?
My mother was always buried in books – whether it was for her studies or planning lessons for her students; I’ve never known her to be without a book close by. So it seemed natural to me that I’ll be a reader too. I remember the day she took me to get my very own library card and I discovered Roald Dahl for the very first time… I don’t think there was ever a chance that I’ll not be buried under piles of books too.
What would you consider your “most reached for” genre? And is there any special reason for this preference?
I think up until last year my “most reached for” genre was contemporary fiction, but ever since I started reading YA fantasy I’ve fallen in love with that genre. Now it’s all I seem to reach for. I adore the different worlds that I get to explore with each book – a world where absolutely anything is possible.
On the other side of the spectrum, what genre do you hardly reach for and why?
I hardly reach for non-fiction because it always seems to be different in a very dull manner. But I’ve been enjoying quite a few autobiographies lately, so hopefully I’ll be reading more books in this genre.
As a major book nerd, I know how overwhelming – or let’s just call it IRRITATING – it can be when someone asks you what your favourite book is because there’s never a black ‘n white answer. So here’s my question: What is your ideal ending for a book?
I cannot stand an ending where everyone lives happily ever after and everything gets tied up in a nice little bow. I’ve come to enjoy an open ending, where nothing is set in stone and the reader gets to draw their own conclusion. I guess I like to torture myself with frustration!
What are some of your most cherished quotes from books?
- “You have to walk for a time on the shaded side of the street to feel the sun when it hits your shoulders.” – Marisha Pessl, Night Film
- “Youth cannot know how age thinks and feels. But old men are guilty if they forget what it was like to be young.” – J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter
- “The consequence of this is that I’m always finding humans at their best and worst. I see their ugly and their beauty, and I wonder how the same thing can be both.” – Markus Zusak, The Book Thief
What bookish franchise do you tend to fan and fawn over most?
The A Court of Thorns and Roses series takes the prize, hand down! I adore the characters and the storyline; I adore the different courts and the tone of the story too. And honestly the fandom has been keeping me sane during these months of waiting for the third book.
If you’re anything like me then you’ll have a long list of bookish pet peeves. Can you name one of your biggest bookish pet peeves?
I despise it when people feel the need to judge a reader based on the books they love. When I see those trolls on social media with their snarky comments, I just want to scream, “Go away!!!” It riles me up when one person can’t be happy for someone else and seem to think that there’s only one way to be.
I think one of the biggest problems us bookish folk face is our never ending TBR pile that gets longer and longer no matter how many books we tick off as ‘read’. What book has been on your TBR the longest?
I just went to check my Goodreads profile for this answer: Pretty Women by Louisa May Alcott.
Stressed Reader or Relaxed Reader?
Favourite Subject in school?
Quiet night in or a night out on the town?
Paperback or EBook?
Pretty dress or jeans and T-shirt?
Jeans & T!!
What advice do you have for anyone who would like to explore opportunities in your field of work?
Always work on your “tool box” and make sure that it is filled with as many useful skills as possible.
If you would like your blog featured on A Cuppa with a Book Blogger then feel free to drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can chat further.
Thank you so much for reading, and please say hi in the comments below so we can talk more about our favourite things in the world – books!