One of my resolutions for the new year is to put varied content on my blog. Other than reviews, I've decided to start featuring different kinds of readers, highlighting one every month. For January, I asked award-winning travel blogger Nina Fuentes of Just Wandering (which recently bagged Nuffnang's 2011 Asia-Pacific Blog Awards for Best Travel Blog) to answer a few questions about her reading habits. She's been blogging since 1998, but only started blogging about travel in 2006. She's been all over the Philippines, Asia, and Australia. Recently, she went on an 18-day adventure in Morocco. Nina reads everyday, but it's a mix of books and smutty fanfiction. When she's not obsessing over Drarry (that's Draco x Harry to those not acquainted with slash), she would read about her next destination.
1. Name three books that you feel would explain the kind of reader you are.
Vroom with a View by Peter Moore, Chō yo Hana yo by Yoshihara Yuki, and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by JK Rowling
2. Do you often bring a book with you when you leave? What was the last book you read on a trip?
I always bring a book when I travel, though there's no guarantee that I would read them. The last book I read while on a trip was Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, which I read for the book club.
3. Who are your favorite authors? Is there anyone on your auto-buy list?
Peter Moore. I have all his published books, and have even read the abridged versions he submitted for a compilation of travel essays. I love reading his books because it's like listening to a friend sharing his stories on the road. His books are very conversational and I love his sense of humor. I actually even met him while traveling back in 2007!
I was in Melbourne when Peter Moore released his latest novel, Vroom by the Sea. He had a launch, which I was unable to attend, but luckily he called out for an informal get together at a bar by the beach. There were only two of us who came and the other girl didn't arrive until two hours after I did so I was able to bombard him with questions. I can't remember everything we talked about, but the thing that made the most impact on me was that he's been to more places in the Philippines than I had. I was feeling rather sheepish, so I made an effort to travel more locally. And I did.
4. What was the best book you read last year? What are you looking forward to reading in 2012?
Dark Star Safari by Paul Theroux because I feel it gave me a better look at Africa. For 2012, I'm looking forward to reading Lonely Planet's Europe on a Shoestring.
5. How do you feel about e-books and e-readers?
E-books and e-readers will never replace the real thing. On the other hand, I cannot deny how convenient they are, specially if you're traveling. No longer do I have to lug around a bulky guidebook that takes up a lot of space and eats up my baggage allowance; I just download a copy to my iPod, along with my music, games and videos.
For Nina, "Reading is just like traveling: it take you places and even brings you beyond the things you can imagine. It opens your eyes to a world outside what you know." We may not all literally go places like her, but through reading, we can still do so figuratively (or should I say literarily?) A big shout-out to our favorite travel blogger for sharing her thoughts on this space!