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? I’m Aimee!
- Blog URL? http://aimeealways.com/
- Twitter handle? @aimeereads
- Where do you live? I live 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! There’s a big issue of illiteracy in my country, but for those who are among the more fortunate people, I do believe there are a lot of readers. I’ve attended a few book signings were I just get shocked by the amount of people attending! Of course, there could be more, if only our government would give more attention to matters like this.
- What kinds of books do you enjoy reading? I’m a huge YA reader! I read everything from fantasy to contemporary, thriller to romance.
- Have you always been a reader? Oh, definitely not. My family’s not big on reading, so I grew up believing that reading’s just a boring task. It wasn’t until I was 11 when I started getting totally addicted to YA 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! This may sound horrible of me, but I find it difficult to read books set in my language. I’m very much fluent in Filipino when it comes to speaking, but reading the language is a whole different story. Tons of Filipino words are long, or have repetitive syllables, so it’s hard for me to read, so no, I don’t read published in my native language unless required in class.
- 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? We do have libraries, although they mostly feature academic and/or historical texts. I have yet to come across a library that features fictional books–or at least the kind I like to read. Erika @ The Nocturnal Fey compiled a list of local libraries, though, if you’re interested!
- How prevalent are English published books where you live in bookstores? (For example, books printed by HarperCollins.) Very. Our bookstores are stocked with YA and other fictional novels written in English.
- 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 request books via both outlets, having more luck with NetGalley than Edelweiss, although I’m generally more unlucky than lucky.
- Do you experience hurdles or barriers to access for the kinds of books that you read? Please explain if so. Personally, since I live in the more urban side of the Philippines, I have a great access to the books I want to read. Some of our local bookstores allow us to request for books they don’t carry, which is just fantastic.
- If you could make one change to the publishing landscape, what would you do? Publishing and distribution rights are a drag. It sucks that some books published in English about certain types of readers don’t get into those readers’ hands. For example, black readers don’t get enough access to YA books about black characters, etc.
- Help other international bloggers out… What resources do you use to obtain the books that you want to read? I can’t speak for other countries, but in the Philippines, I buy 90% of my books from Fully Booked (and am able to request for books they don’t carry), and sometimes The Book Depository. I go to Amazon for ebooks.
- Do you have any other experiences as a reader around the world that you would like to share? Being from a tropical country, reading in the Philippines means either reading in the rain, or reading under the scorching hot sun. Both aren’t ideal, but we do it for the love of books!
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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