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 Consu (short for Consuelo)
- Blog URL? papereyedgirl.wordpress.com
- Twitter handle? @consumesones
- Where do you live? Buenos Aires, Argentina
- 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 think that there’s a good reading culture in Argentina. It’s more obvious when the International Book Fair is happening but we have a lot of bookish events throughout the year too. The book community is more international, though, we interact with people from all over Latin America (since we share the same language and sort of the same availability for books)
- What kinds of books do you enjoy reading?I especially enjoy reading YA fantasy and queer contemporaries. The first because I love how YA has so much diversity in the fantasy worlds, the second one because I love to see my community being represented and portrayed as normal, as deserving of realistic stories.
- Have you always been a reader? Yes, since my dad read to my siblings and I when we were little, I’ve always loved to loose myself in books.
- 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’m ashamed to say that I don’t. This year I’m trying to read more in Spanish and read latinx authors but being so immersed in the global reading community makes me focus more in US and UK books than my own. It’s as simple as: Who’d read a review for a book they haven’t heard of?? And I know it’s wrong but it’s how it is.
- 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, but they are more places of study, they have mostly books for research than for pleasure. They do have some variety but they are either for children or adults (not YA) and over 10 years old.
- How prevalent are English published books where you live in bookstores? (For example, books printed by HarperCollins.) We get translated books if they do well in the US, however if you want a book in English you need to go to a specific bookstore.
- 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 used to use Netgalley but then they changed things and I couldn’t request most of the books I wanted so I stopped checking. I tried Edelweiss a few times but the interface is confusing and I didn’t get approved for anything.
- Do you experience hurdles or barriers to access for the kinds of books that you read? Please explain if so. I am lucky enough to have a job and still live with my parents, which gives me some economic freedom. With that I bought myself a Kindle. Thanks to that I can access most books on Amazon but there are some that say “Not available in your location” or something along those lines..
- If you could make one change to the publishing landscape, what would you do? Hype up more international authors (non US/UK based). Right now diverse stories are getting more attention but they are still from people from those countries. Since most major publishers have come to other countries and crushed the local brands they could at least make use of those resources
- Help other international bloggers out… What resources do you use to obtain the books that you want to read? As I said before I depend on Amazon Kindle store to get the books I want to read, it’s quick and inexpensive. If I can’t find the book there, or if I want a physical copy then I resort to Book depository, they take a while and there’s always the risk of my book getting stolen on the way but that’s life
- Do you have any other experiences as a reader around the world that you would like to share? One thing that we don’t talk about enough when discussing international readers: Having to google references it happens all the time with contemporaries and it takes away from the reading. Most of the time you skip it and keep going but maybe consider that your experiences are not universal. Try to make reading a more inclusive landscape.
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.