Welcome to Reading Around the Globe, a new series here on Reader Voracious Blog geared at fostering a culture of understanding in the bookish community about access to books in various countries around the world. Each post in the series highlights a full interview with one international reader. You can read more about this series here on the series master post.
- What is your name? My full name is Fani Carolina, but you could just call me Carolina, or Olin for short!
- Blog URL? fictionologyst.wordpress.com
- Twitter handle? @fictionologyst
- Where do you live? Yogyakarta, Indonesia!
- Do you find that there is a culture of reading where you live? If not, tell us a bit how you came to be one! I believe we Indonesian doesn’t read much, we have no reading assignment in school like most country does, and our schools barely has any library. You’ll be considered as a nerd if you walk with books in your hand which I think very inappropriate and very uneducative. Most of my friends’ parents even forbid their children to read because they thought it was a waste of time. But I’m so lucky my parents are very supportive, my father is a reader and he really wants his children to love books as well, he literally fed me books since I can’t barely talk, he bought me so many books and encourage me to read, so that’s why I become a reader.
- What kinds of books do you enjoy reading? I really love fantasy and sci-fi books, sometimes I read contemporary too if I’m in the mood. I love both YA and MG books!
- Have you always been a reader? I am, as long as I can remember. I started reading picture books when I was a child, and I started reading comic and manga when I was a bit older. And now here I am, still obsessed with MG and YA books and of course manga and comic too!
- Do you also read books published in your native language/published locally to you? If so, tell us a bit about what kinds of books are published in your country! Umm I did when I was teenager but not anymore, they’re mostly cliche romance, some are actually great though but I got tired of that genre a long time ago. I mostly read translated books back in the day, but now I’m confident enought to read in english, so I never buy anything again from local bookstores.
- Are there libraries where you live? If so, what kinds of books can you find there? Are you able to get the books that you want? There is a public library where I live but the books are mostly non-fiction so I never go there.
- How prevalent are English published books where you live in bookstores? (For example, books printed by HarperCollins.) There are approximately three bookstore chains in Indonesia that sell imported books, they are really update with new releases but it’s kinda hard to get some old books there.
- Do you use NetGalley or Edelweiss to request electronic galleys for review? If so, what kind of success rate would you estimate for you personally?
I do use NetGalley, I’m still figuring out how to use Edelweiss because that one is so confusing! I’ve only used NetGalley for three months and I never got any YA book I want but I always got most of MG books I requested.
- Do you experience hurdles or barriers to access for the kinds of books that you read? Please explain if so. I was! When I was younger I could only buy them in the bookstores, and imported books come with a ridiculously expensive price. But now I have my own credit card and I could just order them online from anywhere I want, although the shipping cost is killing me!
- If you could make one change to the publishing landscape, what would you do? I really don’t know how to answer this question, but to have the major publishing houses in our country would be great. Or maybe they could do an annually Book Con to countries other than US, UK, ad AUS for starter?
- Help other international bloggers out… What resources do you use to obtain the books that you want to read? Book Depository has been my saviour, there are so many options and the shipping cost is none! They’re the best!
- Do you have any other experiences as a reader around the world that you would like to share? Being an international reader mean that we have to raise a lot of money because English books are imported and they’re so damn expensive. We couldn’t get ourselves an ARC because apparently the publishers only prefer the US, UK, and AUS. And we really need a Book Con here where we could meet our favorite authors but I guess it will never happen. What I love being an international reader is, my English improved so much ever since I started reading in English!
Please note that all experiences reflected in the interviews are personal and are not meant to generalize what reading access is like in each country. If you are interested in participating please DM me on Twitter.