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 name is Catherine!
- Blog URL? thisisoneforthebooks.wordpress.com
- Twitter handle? @thecathdiaries
- Where do you live? I live in Toronto, Canada.
- 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 do find that there is a culture of reading where I live. There are many library branches and book shops—both large retailers and small independent stores—that one can turn to for literary resources. I am definitely lucky in that regard, as well as I know quite a few people personally who read as much as I do. It’s great because I can get recommendations from and bounce ideas off of them. There are still those who give me odd looks when I talk about books, as I’m sure they exist everywhere, but the culture is here and I do feel embraced by it.
- What kinds of books do you enjoy reading? I love Young Adult, Contemporary Fiction, Philosophy, and Classics.
- Have you always been a reader? Ever since I can remember. I used to make my mom read me a lot of stories before bed, and before long, I was very eager to learn for myself. The rest is history!
- 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 only read in English, but Canada is very multicultural so there are resources available in many languages. I am not sure as to the extent of those resources and how helpful they are, but I do know they exist!
- 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? Toronto is the largest city in Canada, so we do have an abundance of libraries where I can find pretty much everything I want. However, a good portion of Canada is rural, so I’m sure those regions have many fewer libraries at their disposal. At my library, you can find pretty much anything—all genres of books in both regular and large print, CDs, DVDs, and employment resources. They also have an Overdrive/ Libby app to access e- and audiobooks.
- How prevalent are English published books where you live in bookstores? (For example, books printed by HarperCollins.) Those are pretty abundant for me, thankfully!
- 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 not; I have a NetGalley account but I haven’t gotten into it. However, I write reviews for all of the books I read so I’m sure my success rate wouldn’t be that bad.
- Do you experience hurdles or barriers to access for the kinds of books that you read? Please explain if so. I don’t experience hurdles per say, but I do experience large wait times at the library. Although I often frequent book stores, I prefer to borrow my books. Sometimes though, it seems like the whole city wants the same book as I do (which, if you think about it, is actually a good thing because it means that people like the library). I am okay with it, but being a mood reader can be quite difficult when you get a book you wanted to read four months later!
- If you could make one change to the publishing landscape, what would you do? I actually wish that I could have better access to modern International authors. Really the only authors I know of are from the USA or UK, and a few Canadian.
- Help other international bloggers out… What resources do you use to obtain the books that you want to read? https://openlibrary.org/ is pretty good because it is part of the Internet Archive. They are mostly classics, but I have downloaded them onto my phone before with no problems! Also, you can check out https://littlefreelibrary.org/ourmap/ to see if there are makeshift libraries in your area where people put books into for others to take. It’s a pretty cool concept 🙂
- Do you have any other experiences as a reader around the world that you would like to share? I do not, but I can’t wait to see everyone else’s’! Thank you Kaleena for allowing me to be a part of this.
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.
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