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? Inge
- Blog URL? https://ofwonderland.com
- Twitter handle? @ingeswonderland
- Where do you live? Belgium
- What kinds of books do you enjoy reading? I love fantasy, contemporary, dystopia, sci-fi… a bit of everything, though mostly within the YA category.
- Have you always been a reader? I became a reader when I was about 16. I didn’t like any of the books they pushed on us in high school, and so I assumed I wouldn’t like any book. It wasn’t until I picked up Twilight that I started discovering the weird notion of actually liking reading? I’ve read hundreds of books since then!
- 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! No, I only read in English. Reading in Dutch feels awkward and clunky to me.
- 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? There are libraries, though unless you live in a big city, there’s not much to do there if you’re an English reader. Smaller libraries will generally hold classics.
- How prevalent are English published books where you live in bookstores? (For example, books printed by HarperCollins.) Again, if you live in a big city, you probably won’t find much to complain about. When you go to smaller towns, the English section vastly decreases until you have a few popular chicklits and thrillers.
- 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’ve never had much luck with Edelweiss, but I used NetGalley a lot and got approved for most of the books I requested. For the past year, though, I’ve been feeling very slumpy. Reviewing started to take away from my reading enjoyment. Now that I’ve cut down on ARCs, I’m slowly finding that joy again. At the end of last year, though, NetGalley became a lot more restricted for international readers. We can no longer request most books, but we can “wish for them”. These wishes are never granted, though. I’d say I’ve gone from an 80% success rate to a 10%.
- If you could make one change to the publishing landscape, what would you do? I wish ARCs and giveaways were more available to international readers. I know this costs a lot of money and there’s international rights and whatnot, though, so this might be a long shot.
- Help other international bloggers out… What resources do you use to obtain the books that you want to read? I use Amazon for my ebooks and The Book Depository for paperbacks. I mean, free shipping, folks. If TBD doesn’t ship to your country, Wordery might — also for 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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