Book Bloggers Abroad (5) – Indonesia

Book Bloggers AbroadWelcome to the weekly guest post in the Book Bloggers Abroad series. Every week a book blogger from a different country will be featured who will talk about what it’s like to be a book blogger where he or she lives.


Our guest blogger for today is Novroz from Indonesia. Her book blog is called Novroz’ Favorite Things. She reads and reviews a variety of contemporary fiction, such as Stephen King, Haruki Murakami, and other Japanese and Western writers. So, go and have a look and discover some new books!

Novroz and Kame

Novroz and Kame

My name is Novia Rozet and that’s why I go around with Novroz as my nick name. I live in Indonesia’s Capital city, Jakarta. I was born and raised in Jakarta and have no intention to move out of Jakarta because ONLY in Jakarta I can find things that I like. I live with my parents because I haven’t got married yet, most Indonesian people lived with their parents till they got married, no matter how old they are.

I usually find the books that I like the most in imported bookstore such as Kinokuniya, Periplus and Times. I also frequent some secondhand bookstores. Visiting such stores always makes me feel like going treasure hunting because I often find great books still in good shape. If I can’t find the book I really want, I ask my friends or my students who are living or studying in another country to buy me that book. The library that I frequently visit is Japan Foundation Library, they only provides books from Japanese writers which is fine by me because Japanese literature is difficult to find.

Places to find books

Left: Times bookstore; Right: Japan Foundation Library

I’ve been blogging since 2005 but I wasn’t as active as in the past 2 years. There are 3 places to blog, Warnet (an internet rental), my communicator and my school (unfortunately I have just moved to a new school that hasn’t provided free internet yet). I don’t have internet connection at home because I used to teach in a school with fast internet connection, tho I am thinking of connecting it since I moved out of that school. For now, I go to Warnet to blog and I use my communicator to reply to comments on my blog.

Places to blog

Places to blog

I think a lot of people know about Bali, so I don’t need to tell you the attraction in Bali. I want to show you Monas (national monument), it is Jakarta Landmark, and it looks really beautiful at night. On the next picture is Rumah Gadang (big house), a west Sumatra traditional house. The picture I took is not a house, it’s a museum… but if you visit West Sumatra, you will see lots of buildings with buffalo horn shapes on the roof. Although I was born and raised in Jakarta, both my parents are from west Sumatra. My big family is still living in west Sumatra.

Places in Indonesia

Left: Monas; Right: Rumah Gadang

There are 2 places that I feel comfortable reading. First is on my bed with my back against the wall (I used a picture I took a month ago with Kame, my pet turtle, invading my bed). Second is on public transportations. There are two kinds of public transportation in my country (train, plane and boat are not included in here), Bus and angkot. If the bus is not crowded, I can have a seat and let myself be carried away by my books. Angkot is a small bus, the size of a mini van. Riding on angkot is better for a reader like me because there’s always a place to sit. I block the sounds of people talking in public transportation by listening to songs on my MP4 player.

Places to Read

Left: my bed; Right: above: bus, below: angkot

When my English was not too good yet, I read translated books. Around 1998 I found the joy of reading books in English, and I’ve been reading books in English ever since. I’m currently trying to read in Japanese, but so far I can only manage to read Manga. One of these days, I will step up to Novel. My country’s language is called Bahasa. Bahasa Indonesia is my national language, but we have tens of traditional languages.

I rarely read books by Indonesian writers because most of them write love stories or teen stories, the genre I always avoid even in English. But, two years ago, I fell in love with this awesome Indonesian writer, he is Andrea Hirata. He writes books based on his past and it is written beautifully. I can’t find his books on Amazon, but I can assure you that his book called Rainbow Troops has already been translated to English.

In my early blog years, I wrote in my native language. But, as time goes I slowly change my writing into English. You can blame this on my book reviews. I wrote my book reviews in English because most of them were English books. Later on, I also wrote about my favorite bands, movies, and everything else in English. I still keep some things written in Bahasa such as my pet’s journal (they have their own English version blog), my activities in J-Community (Japanese Community), tips on how to raise turtles and about my students. And when I feel like doing it, I also write in Japanese (tho I’m still far from fluent).

That’s a bit about me and my country, I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoy reading yours :).

Click on the world for a Google Maps picture!

Thanks, Novroz for letting us have a look at your life as a reader and blogger. What a wonderful places in Indonesia. I also like the look of that book store. And reading in Japanese, I’m so impressed!

Don’t forget to take a look at Novroz’s blog. If you have any questions or comments for Novroz, just leave them in the comments section.

Next week Amanda from the Australian Outback will be visiting us for the sixth Book Bloggers Abroad guest post. Don’t miss it!

About Leeswammes
I'm owner and editor at In my free time, I read and review books on my two blogs, Leeswammes' Blog and De Boekblogger.

24 Responses to Book Bloggers Abroad (5) – Indonesia

  1. Mel u says:

    thanks for this very interesting and informative post on blogging in Jakarta-

  2. Carin B. says:

    Indonesia looks amazing and Kame is so adorable! How old is he/she? What kind of turtle is it?

    I loved learning about your blogging and a little about your country! I will go and check out your blog now. 🙂

  3. Iris says:

    I really enjoyed this post. Personally I could never read on the bus, but I do enjoy reading when I travel by train.

  4. Novroz says:

    @Judith Thank you for asking to join this great event 🙂

    @Mel U You’re welcome

    @Carin She is a Red Ear Slider and such a sweetheart. Well, if you want to know more about Indonesia, you can stop by every 17 of each month because I’m starting a new monthly post about Indonesia.

    @Iris Thanks. I rarely took train nowadays, but I can read on any kind of transportation, it never bothered me.

  5. Mystica says:

    Thanks for the link! I did go and visit her blog

  6. gnoegnoe says:

    My Novroz, Kame is much bigger than I expected! 🙂 I’ve got the same favourite reading spots as you: on public transport and in bed. Although we (relatively) recently got ourselves a GREAT lounge chair and I also like to read in the park when the weather is fine!

    It was very insightful to read that you don’t blog at home… Strange how we just assume that everyone does!

    Do you yourself have another traditional language next to Bahasa Indonesia?

    I jotted down your favourite Indonesian author so I can pick up any of his books if I come across them. A friend also recommended Pramoedya Ananta Toer; have you read any of his works and did you like it?

    • Novroz says:

      She is bigger than that now, that picture was taken 2 years ago 🙂 I never read in the park, maybe I should try that one day.

      Well…I write it at home, because writing takes lots of time…I just published it in warnet. It’s impossible to write in Warnet, too noisy.

      I’m a passive Padangese (west sumatra traditional language) and Sundanese (west java traditional language). I understand those 2 languages but having problem in speaking it.

      Do read his books if you found them…they were amazing and full of inspiration. It’s about 10 children trying to study in a shabby school with a very highly dedicated teacher. I haven’t read books by Pramoedya yet, maybe one day.

  7. Tes says:

    Beautiful guest post!
    It’s nice to read about people from similar background 🙂
    Novroz’s blog is very interesting, I will have to visit there often 🙂

  8. Hi Nowroz! It’s great to read about your life as a fellow blogger and book lover in Indonesia. It’s a beautiful country and I relly like the look of the ‘Time’ store. It’s the kind of place that I’d rush into if I ever visited Jakarta.

    Reading some Indonesian literature would be great. I’ll be visiting your blog to see what your reading interests are.

    Thanks for the post!

  9. amymckie says:

    I hadn’t seen that blog so hooray, another new one! The turtle is so cute, and wow, reading in so many languages. Reading in Japanese would be pretty darn cool.

  10. Novroz says:

    Tes Thank you Tes 🙂 …what do you mean similar background?
    I’ve visited your blog and it makes me hungry lol

    @mywordlyobsessions Thank you Zee 🙂 I practically read everything except romance, but you’ll find lots of thriller in my list because I enjoy the blood rush while reading it.

    @amymckie Thank you Amy 🙂
    I agree that reading in Japanese is cool but it’s very difficult (at least for me) 😦 it takes years for me to be able to read manga, and I don’t know how many more years for me to step up to novel.

  11. Violet says:

    I really enjoyed this post. Perth is closer to Indonesia than any other capital city in Australia, so we are fairly close neighbours.

    It’s fascinating to get an insight into how other people go about blogging, where they read, and where they get their books. Off to check out Novroz’ blog now. 🙂

    • Novroz says:

      Well, hello neighbour 🙂

      Yeah this idea of BBA is a great ides, isn’t it…we got to know many interesting things from other bloggers

  12. Hi there again! I’m back to let Nowroz and Leeswammes know that I’ve chosen their blogs to be awarded with a bloggers award :). Congrats!

    Come over to my blog to get the award from there!

  13. Amanda says:

    Hi Novroz,

    Thank you so much for sharing your story – and for introducing yourself. I visit Indonesia every year (saya pelarjaran di IKIP, Yogyakarta, di 1996. Saya bicara Bahasa Indonesia … sedikit). Saya pergi ke Indonesia setiap tahun.

    I am hoping to convince my partner to visit Java next year (I have only got him to go to Lombok and Bali so far -he’s a bit of a chicken!). I have been to Jakarta only once, and I was in the airport – but I lived in Yogyakarta for a semester.

    This year, I have set myself the goal of reading Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone in Indonesian! I’ll have to order it from Granmedia, I think.


    • leeswammes says:

      You surprise me every time, Amanda. So you know Indonesian – enough to read Harry Potter! Wow.

    • Novroz says:

      Whoaaa…it’s nice to know that someone is enjoying my country 🙂 your Indonesian is good. Mungkin kita bisa ketemu kalo kamu datang ke Jakarta lagi 😉

      I’ll check your blog thoroughly when I visit my frequent warnet, I want to know where do you come from?

      You know, just an opinion, maybe you can try reading original Indonesian books rather than translated book 😉 . For me, I enjoy reading books in their original language

  14. diane says:

    I loved these photos and commentary. Your blog is new to me; it’s great!

  15. Selva Kumar says:

    Interesting! Tsunami is the first thing which comes to my mind when I hear Indonesia. Because our city was also a victim of Tsunami. 😦

  16. Pingback: My Posts in These Awesome Blogs « Novroz' Favorite Things

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