Aisyah Umaira is the person behind @aisyhreadly Instagram account since 2019 when she started to convince herself to take part in the book community. As a young child, she used to love reading books for young audiences. Teen novels, for instance. Growing up, she stepped up her game to read more outside of her comfort zone. Reading, to her, means meeting new people, learning new lessons, witnessing new worlds and having your own timeless experience. She would say historical fiction is her favourite, as it tells about the past and the past concealed a lot of stories that we never care to know. However, she enjoys reading another genre too. As long as it captivates her.

Meet Aisyah from Malaysia! This collection features books with impressive storytelling - after all, writing is a big part of what makes the story come to life, and a good author can make words dance on a page. Explore Aisyah's collection here, or read more to find out about her!

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I’m Aisyah Umaira from Pahang, Malaysia. I am currently studying at UiTM Puncak Perdana as an animation student. Obviously, reading is my number one priority all the time. Besides that, I would spend my time drawing, illustrating and discovering software for study purposes. Drawing is another way for me to express myself, to make an idea alive, and to portray what is going on in my mind.

Why did you start bookstagramming and how has your experience been?

At first, I didn’t know bookstagram was a thing. I just stumbled across some accounts and I thought it is really cool to have an account dedicated to your enthusiasm. Plus, I was in my school’s spelling bee team at the time and thought it would be nice to discover more books to read and get to know more people. It is so much fun here in the community. To have someone who relates to you, to inspire more people to read, to discuss a book with your buddy read. I don’t think I can get these anywhere else.

What motivates you to run your account?

What motivates me may vary depending on the situation. I surround myself with people in the bookstagram community to encourage myself to read books. Sometimes I am in a deep slump but having these lovely people around, chatting with them and seeing their enthusiasm really makes me feel like “alright let’s do this!”. Watching movies, k-dramas and listening to K-pop also spark inspiration in a way where they set some certain mood and the next thing I know, I craved for more!

What is your favourite genre, and why?

Historical Fiction, all the way! Even though I think I read historical fiction the least, I found myself really fond of it. I admire the writing style the most. It is gorgeous, melancholic and mesmerizing! The setting and the lifestyle came in second. The 1800s would be my favourite setting as it is full of wonderful ideas and living. The aesthetic of living in that era is perfect to always be my dream.

What is your desert island book/ favourite book?

I have told this to everybody and I am not getting tired of this question. It is We Hunt The Flame by Hafsah Faizal. I love every word and page of the book very very much. The second book, We Free The Stars, also had a special place in my heart. They are both my precious possession.

How did you hear about Thryft?

I first heard about Thryft from my friend Adiba @persephtiyareads when she collaborated recently.

Tell us more about your collection topic.

The collection itself is called “Mesmerizing Storytelling”. Here, I would like to emphasize the art of writing. Shouldn’t it be appreciated? I mean, authors work hard on one sentence to deliver the story to us readers. I came to realise that writing styles are also a big part of a book. It would be nice if readers appreciate the writing alongside the story. Writing style sets the mood, the setting and even the world itself. All of these are nothing without the writing and the words the authors chose. Writers always hold tightly to the saying “Show, not tell.”. Therefore, how they write is very important to hook the reader's attention. Everyone can write a book, but not everyone can write a good book.

What are your top 3 picks from your collection, and why?

The first one would be Passenger by Alexandra Bracken. It is the first book of a duology. I really love how the story resolved around time travelling, fantasy and historical fiction at once! The writing is just beautiful as expected and how the author executed the story is just amazing.

Second, The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V. E. Schwab. It is a standalone fantasy that I just finished recently. I kid you not that this book is super heartbreaking. Again, I would mention the writing style because THAT is the one responsible for my tears. I personally love the storyline and the writing which have this dark and gloomy mood but somehow give dreams and hope.

Thirdly, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs. This is the first book of the Miss Peregrine Series. Totally in love with the setting and the concept itself is entirely cool! The author’s writing really brings the fantasy world alive and it felt almost real. The book includes these eerie and mysterious photographs that relate to the storyline which left me in awe. The writing, the setting and these photographs give you chills and it is totally satisfying!

What are your experiences with second-hand books, and why would you choose second-hand?

Second-hand books are my alternative way to discover more books. Some of them are out of print or hard to find. I do not mind reading used books because what important to me is the content inside. However, it must be readable and clean! These are my only rules for buying them. Other than that, I will take what you offer. Second-hand books are quite special as they were owned before. Imagine reading a book that had been loved by someone else, knowing that you also will enjoy the book. It felt like a connection to have with someone, a shared loved.

Anything else you’d like to say to our readers?

Whatever situation you are in right now, I hope you are doing alright. Anyone who is struggling with reading, you are doing great. Don’t let anything get between you and your book because you deserve escapism and that’s your right! To everybody reading this, I hope you enjoy whatever book you are reading right now. Get joy and fun from the book. Write down your thoughts. Share it with people for them to discover new things! And do not forget to always spread kindness <3