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? Hamad
- Blog URL? http://thebookprescription.wordpress.com/
- Twitter handle? @Hamad9626
- Where do you live? Jerusalem, the capital of occupied Palestine
- 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! To be honest I don’t think so, I know a very limited number of readers IRL. My parents lived in many places after they got married, they lived in the USA for a few years so our library had a fair number of English books, My dad is a teacher and is also a reader so he encourages everyone to read. English is not my mother language so I enjoyed reading all the Dr.Seuss books to learn more and more.
- What kinds of books do you enjoy reading? I read mainly YA/ Fantasy/ romance/ Thriller and contemporaries. I almost read everything except erotica. Also I hardly if ever read non-fiction.
- Have you always been a reader? I was a vicious young reader when I read all the English and Arabic books for children in our library. But then I drifted away from reading and got back to it 3 years ago.
- 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! I have tried a few books in Arabic in the past couple of years, I didn’t enjoy them very much as they are mostly non-fiction and the writing is not so great. It is actually very hard to write in Arabic. And the readers here tend to read Arabic books but I am against the flow in this case.
- 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? Yes, there are a few libraries, most of them are small. Mostly Arabic books and Hebrew books over the Israeli side. There is one local library in my city where I get most of my books from but it is kind of expensive.
- How prevalent are English published books where you live in bookstores? (For example, books printed by HarperCollins.) Beside the local English library and the English books section in Israeli libraries, there are not many places to get those books.
- 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? Netgalley don’t approve me and I almost have to wish for everything which is sad and I don’t use it anymore. Edelweiss is better and easier to get approved for. Harper Collins approves all my requests and I do review all their books but I am still trying to get approved for other books. If you know any tricks, help me.
- Do you experience hurdles or barriers to access for the kinds of books that you read? Please explain if so. There aren’t many English books to get here, specially the new releases. I have to order them online and wait a couple of weeks before getting them.
- If you could make one change to the publishing landscape, what would you do? I would try to give INTL bloggers more rights, maybe try to make books available everywhere. And I would give more new authors chances.
- Help other international bloggers out… What resources do you use to obtain the books that you want to read? Edelweiss and Netgalley for ARCs Book depository for books with free INTL shipping.
- Do you have any other experiences as a reader around the world that you would like to share? I would just like to explain to other readers and authors that we put so much money, time and effort for reading their works. It is not as easy as other countries here. And I wish there was a way to support INTL bloggers more!
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.
💖 If you like the work that I do here at Reader Voracious, consider fueling my pumpkin spice latte and black tie addiction by buying me a ko-fi! ☕