Reading Around the Globe: Olly in England

There has been a trend this year in the UK of local authorities closing libraries to cut costs.

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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 and catch up on previous interviews on the master post.

  1. What is your name? Olly Clarke
  2. Blog URL? Crimonlly
  3. Twitter handle? @whatmeworry
  4. Where do you live? England
  5. 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!Β Yes
  6. What kinds of books do you enjoy reading? I mostly read fiction, specifically crime, horror and sci fi, but I try to read widely.
  7. Have you always been a reader?Β Absolutely.
  8. 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! Not specifically.
  9. 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?Β There are libraries, and I’m lucky to have one in the town I live in which I use regularly. However there has been a trend this year in the UK of local authorities closing libraries to cut costs.
  10. How prevalent are English published books where you live in bookstores? (For example, books printed by HarperCollins.) Very πŸ™‚
  11. 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?Β Yes, I use NetGalley and have found it to be a useful resource
  12. Do you experience hurdles or barriers to access for the kinds of books that you read? Please explain if so.Β No.
  13. If you could make one change to the publishing landscape, what would you do? Reduce the dominance and power of the big publishers and Amazon.
  14. Help other international bloggers out… What resources do you use to obtain the books that you want to read?Β I’m lucky enough to be on the reviewing team for scifiandscary.com which means I get a lot of SF and horror books to review from authors and publishers, I also use NetGalley, my local library and buy a lot of second hand books.
  15. Do you have any other experiences as a reader around the world that you would like to share? I think the key thing is to keep looking for new reading experiences and don’t get too wrapped up in what publishers tell you to read. There are so many great older books out there which tend to get ignored in favour of reading the next big thing.

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.Β If you are interested in participating please DM me on Twitter.


πŸ’– If you like the work that I do here at Reader Voracious, consider fueling my pumpkin spice latte and black tie addiction by buying me a ko-fi! β˜•

spacer_wLet’s go on another adventure together!

11 Comments

  1. TheCaffeinatedReader

    July 6, 2019 at 10:47 AM

    I definitely agree about not worrying about what’s new and hot at the moment for your tbr, but I do love that newer books have so much more diversity, still, I only read Vanity Fair last year so I still enjoy older books and new books. I’ve never heard of that scifi and scary website….going to have to check it out! Yay for a new RATG!

    1. Kal

      July 6, 2019 at 1:09 PM

      You are right that the newer publications do have more diversity, that is a good point! I do like trying to focus on backlist as well because there are soooo many books out there.

  2. Ruby's Books

    July 7, 2019 at 2:09 AM

    I agree with the power being with big publishers and Amazon, and I too would try to change that. It’s such an unfair game if you ask me, and it’s getting harder and harder to be heard or seen. Luckily self-publishing is a thing nowadays. And I also agree that new releases aren’t the only books worth reading. Great interview, Kal!

    1. Kal

      July 7, 2019 at 8:43 AM

      I agree, and while Amazon is amazing for increasing access internationally, in the US it is really ruining the book market and is getting close to a monopoly – they have the power to do a lot of good, but that’s unseen so far.

  3. LottieIsWriting

    July 9, 2019 at 3:52 PM

    I definitely agree with the last point. I used to feel so pressured to keep up with new releases, but in reality very few of us are able to constantly keep up.

    1. Kal

      July 10, 2019 at 8:44 PM

      It’s a race none of us can really win!

  4. Jennifer Pletcher

    July 10, 2019 at 12:55 PM

    I agree with no worrying about the “big push” books – things that show up as super popular. 50% of the time I am disappointed with the read

    1. Kal

      July 11, 2019 at 8:54 PM

      I build up hyped books so much in my head I am almost always disappointed, which really sucks.

  5. Clo @ Book Dragons

    July 11, 2019 at 11:30 AM

    Yep I’ve noticed the trend with closing libraries down too, if they’re not closed down then they’re have serious cuts to their budget meaning they have to let go of staff which is honestly such a shame. I know of a library in the next county over from me, where my grandma lives. I used that library as a kid, it was where I went and where I got many books out to read from. The library now, isn’t always “manned” so to speak. There’s this whole schedule they’ve created and basically there’s maybe 2/3 times a week when there will be actual staff in the library. The rest of the time, the library is “unmanned” and if you go in you have to follow safety rules regulations and so on.

    It’s the only way the library can kept open though I believe πŸ™ Totally agree with the not worrying about current releases HOWEVER new releases are great for diversity, as someone who spends a lot of time poking through pages of backlist books…the further back you go the less diversity we have sadly.

    1. Kal

      July 12, 2019 at 10:45 AM

      It is such a shame that libraries are losing funding around the world, because I think they are magnificent community spaces that offer so much more than just books. They offer access to computers & the internet, discussion groups, literacy programs, space for community events. I’d much rather personally pay annually for a library membership to ensure that others can have access to them.

      You bring up a very important point about diversity in newer releases!

  6. Kelly | Another Book in the Wall

    July 14, 2019 at 3:17 PM

    It was wonderful to meet you, Olly! <3 I really love the bit of advice you shared at the end about not getting too wrapped up in new releases. I think it's definitely a challenge that all bloggers face, international and non-international readers alike, to not become discouraged if we lack the means to read the most hyped and recent releases. There is a wealth of books out there that are just waiting to be read and loved! πŸ™‚

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