Welcome to Reading Around the Globe, a 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 Justine. Hi!
- Blog URL? bookishwisps.wordpress.com
- Twitter handle? @bookishwisps
- Where do you live? I currently am residing in the Philippines.
- 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! From where I came from, generally my family, no there was no one who reads like I do now. But they have been supportive of me despite the costly price of a book. And in school I was a late bloomer when it came to reading. My classmates had already been fangirling over books while I sit and watch. Until one day by some miracle, I gave that book they were gushing on about a try. And fell in love with reading. From my family and school I say I have been fortunate enough to have a supportive community.
- What kinds of books do you enjoy reading? Almost everything, I love trying to read every bit of anything. Any genre, hyped ones and indie reads are great! I bounce back in between fantasies, contemporaries, thriller-mysteries, historical fiction, etc. just whenever I feel like (or sometimes obligated to for blog tours).
- Have you always been a reader? No, I was not. I got into reading when I was in 6th grade. Back then my other classmates had been talking about books. I would never forget, I was in 4th grade then, they already were kind of established in reading~a lot (if you’re curious they were gushing over Nancy Drew books, mentioned in question no. 5)
- 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! Yes, I enjoyed reading book recommendation from my cousins. They’re Wattpad and PSICOM books, I have read both in pure Filipino and in Taglish (Tagalog-English) books. There are a lot to choose from nowaways. Since the booming of the ‘from books to movie adaptations’, I think.There are also the school mandated books to read by Filipino authors, I read them too for school of course. HahaThere are published books of poetry, mythologies, ghost stories, and literary ones.
- 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? Where I live, NO. I am from a province and has to travel hours long to be in the Metro. And I do travel in the Metro I may find some. Public libraries more focused on text book, school books, thesis research books, reference books. There are novel books in different schools and universities but I have to sign a form to be allowed in the institution. Or be a student in that particular uni to have an access for it I believe.
- How prevalent are English published books where you live in bookstores? (For example, books printed by HarperCollins.) There are books from HarperCollins, Feiwel and Friends, Square fish, Balzer + Bray, Simon and Schuster etc. But the titles are not that of variety. But I do notice that the Philippines is now being recognized more. There are quiet improvements in the selection of titles in bookstores (National Bookstores and Fullybooked) outlets near Manila. But provincial outlets still suffer.And the rarity of books appearing in book sales are noted too. You have to wait up for a certain day. And you’ll observe that the arrival of the books are on a schedule. I have to watch out for that.
- 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, both NetGalley and Edelweiss. I do have a difficulty with NetGalley, I think the “not available in your region” appeared on my account once. I felt sad and disappointed. Assuming that it was already an electronic copy and much suited for international readers.
- Do you experience hurdles or barriers to access for the kinds of books that you read? Please explain if so. Yes, shipping. It costs thrice than the actual book. Or that a certain retail that has that copy doesn’t ship to my country.
- If you could make one change to the publishing landscape, what would you do? Of course the fair and square execution of the term international, but we can’t change it overnight, every day will always be a battle against it. I think what I can do is support fellow international readers and call on out and try to educate people who doesn’t understand much of why international readers are way too enthusiastic about books.
- Help other international bloggers out… What resources do you use to obtain the books that you want to read? Reaching out to authors and publishers helps. It may take a long time and may deny you but at least you tried. Mentioned in earlier too NetGalley, Edelweiss, may not be approved or allowed to read but there could be other titles to explore too. And I kind of like Sribd. They offer a free trial and there are a lot of books to choose from! Always on the lookout for sales or even free books on Amazon! I always watchout for this on Amazon and Twitter. Fellow International Readers are so nice to tweet out a warning which titles are on sale and free!
- Do you have any other experiences as a reader around the world that you would like to share? No.
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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