Nadirah is a Malaysian who fell in love with reading at a young age. She is an engineer by profession but a fan of the written media at heart. To encourage the continuous joy of reading for herself and others who are coming along for the journey, she goes by @naddie.reads on Instagram & Tiktok for when she needs to shout into the void about books she’s currently enjoying. She can also be found shouting about books on Goodreads.

In the following interview with Nadirah, she introduces her curated collection (insert link) with the topic of Resilience and Hope. We hope you can find inspiration and comfort in her optimistic choice of books and how the characters survive through the endless problems and thrive with hope for a better future. What's more, you will get to know Nadirah–all the way from Malaysia–and why she loves second-hand book shopping. And don't forget, the link to her curated collection is here (insert link once posted).

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I’m Nadirah, also known as Naddie on social media platforms. I’m Malaysian and I love to read and travel. As travel is still laden with a lot of restrictions, reading has become my survival instinct at this point.

Why/how did you start bookstagramming?

I have always loved reading, having started from a young age and encouraged by a father who similarly enjoys literature, and when I heard about the bookstagram community, I thought I’d give it a try and find like-minded people. Who knew it would end up making me read eight times as much since I’ve joined it? (Goodbye, healthy balance in bank account.)

What is your favourite genre, and why?

I love non-fiction, literature and historical fiction. Non-fiction is such a vast, fascinating field, and there are so many things I wish I could learn that this genre serves to whet my appetite for that thirst of knowledge. As for literature and historical fiction, both of these genre make me think of the past past as well as our current struggles in society. In a way, they act to complement the non-fiction books that I’ve read, in that they are able to humanize the data and facts, as I find that fiction has a way of making us more empathetic to the struggles we might not experience ourselves.

I’ve been trying to diversify my reading, though! This has been successful in part due to bookstagram; the plethora of recommendations never fail to make me add a book to my never-ending TBR list!

What is your desert island book/ favourite book?

Oof. This is such a hard question! Can I bring a whole luggage to the deserted island? I’d probably bring Pride & Prejudice, Piranesi and/or all of Natasha Pulley’s books.

How did you hear about Thryft?

Through word-of-mouth and bookstagram, of course!

Tell us more about your collection topic “Stories on Resilience and Hope”.

I think isolation & solitude has had a massive impact on everyone ever since the pandemic started, and we’re all slowly recovering from it. Going off from that thought, this collection is meant to be a curated selection of books that deal with the hardships people faced and how they overcame them. The people or characters in these books showed resiliency, and hope plays a large part in that resiliency. It’s only when we are optimistic for a better outcome that we can push on through the myriad of problems that plagued us, in order to survive.

What are your top 3 books from the collection, and why?

Circe - As a feminist retelling of Circe’s story from Homer’s oeuvre, this is one of those books that really made me feel all types of ways. Circe’s struggle from childhood to adulthood is so relatable – even though she’s a Greek goddess – and her growth and journey of self-discovery so beautifully portrayed that I can’t help reread this over and over again just to appreciate how such a story can be woven out of almost nothing.

Circle of Friends - In terms of a “coming of age” book, this is my all-time favourite. I’m not sure what it is about this book that affected me so much, but it changed my outlook on life when I first read it, and I continue to read this whenever I need a reminder that there’s a better outcome in the future. While this is set in 1990s Ireland, it’s still one of those tales that feels universal for everyone, and I love the portrayal of the enduring friendship between the main characters.

Angela’s Ashes / ’Tis – This was one of those books that I borrowed from my dad’s library when I couldn’t find anything else to read while I was an impressionable teenager, and whew was it a doozy. It deals with very mature subjects (alcoholism, abuse, etc), but it’s also one of those eye-opening memoirs that really made you open your eyes to other people’s lives. To be honest, it was a pretty depressing read at times, but considering where Frank McCourt has ended up, I’d say it’s a pretty strong show of resilience.

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

I love buying second-hand books. For one, it’s a sustainable practice (a subject that is also close to my heart), and for another, it’s way cheaper and friendlier to my wallet haha. I’ve had a lot of pleasant experiences with buying second-hand books, and I love browsing through the stores to see if I can find some gems hidden among the roses.

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

Thank you for taking the time to read this, and I hope you enjoy this curated collection; even if you don’t, feel free to shout at me over at Instagram and TikTok!

We hope you enjoyed getting to know Nadirah and why she loves shopping for second-hand books. If you haven't already, be sure to head to the link below to find out what she has recommended in her collection!