Reading Around the Globe: Dianthaa in Romania
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.
* Note: after months of crunching data, I decided to move Reading Around the Globe to a different day of the week as Saturdays are a low traffic day.
- What is your name? Dianthaa
- Blog URL? Dianthaa Dabbles
- Twitter handle? @Dianthaa_Pia
- Where do you live? Romania
- 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 grew up in a reading culture, my dad’s been a sci fi geek all his life, my mom was in academia and a nerd in her own way. My best friend’s parents owned a bookshop. When I was in middle school and highschool (different schools) all my friends read, we devoured Harry Potter, swapped worn copies of Lord of The Rings and read lots of english language books from the school library. Then when Twilight came out we devoured anything remotely similar. So because of the circumstances I grew up in I thought Romanians read a lot. Compared to my bookshop friend who read 5 books at a time, at least, I always felt like I never read enough. Only recently my bf pointed out that’s not the general experience, I’m mostly just a privileged nerd with nerdy parents and nerdy friends. He says most people read closer to 1-2 books per year. That’s not my personal experience at all, but I think his 1-2 books per year is closer to the general population than my 50.
- What kinds of books do you enjoy reading? Fantasy’s always be my one true love, I like reading some sci fi too, and have recently started trying out a little romance. I like books that make me feel good, give me hopeful, noblebright, hopepunk, whatever.
- Have you always been a reader? My dad tried to get me to read his favorite books when I was a kid, and I thought they were old and boring. The first book I remember clicking with was Harry Potter when I was 11.
- 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 used to avoid Romanian books like the plague. I put it down to the great mandatory school reading I suffered through, and the fact that growing up English was the language of cool and everything Romanian was lame. I’ve started to correct this way of thinking and found a few contemporary sci-fi and fantasy authors I really like. Almost all I’ve read so far has been urban fantasy, and it’s a lot better than I expected reading about things I can personally relate to. I’ve read stories that I’ve loved and it really bugs me that I can’t share them with more people. Arhanghelul Raul by Ovidiu Eftimie is a satire about trying to prevent a demon invasion in a post-communist bureaucracy. Copii Intunericului (Children of Darkness) by Lavinia Călina is a paranormal series that looks like it might be a typical YA PNR series when it starts but is actually pretty adult, complex and unexpected. Tenebre by Daniel Timariu is a detective series set in my city, it is so great reading something set in my city. There’s a short story anthology that’ just come out, East of a Known Galaxy, that I’m looking forward to getting my hands on cause it’s in English so I should be able to recommend it to my friends.
- 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? I went to the library a couple of weeks ago, and the door said they’ve been doing inventory since August 2018. I think you could still borrow stuff but not browse, not sure, I got intimidated by the door and left. Their website doesn’t have any info about ebook & audiobook lending which is what I would have been most interested in. I remember there used to be smaller neighborhood ones when I was little, but they got closed down years ago and only the central one is still open..
- How prevalent are English published books where you live in bookstores? (For example, books printed by HarperCollins.) It’s pretty good I think. I live in a university city and we’ve got a good number of bookstores both national chains and indie ones. No international chain ones. They’ve all got sections of both translated and english language sci fi and fantasy. I order online 90% of the time but I’ve seen books on my TBR list in local bookshops.
- 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? Not yet, I’m very new to blogging and I’ve not mustered up the courage for it. So far I’ve gotten most books through TBRindr (An Indie Author and Review Matching Resource) which has a success rate of 100%. I’m a bit worried about NetGalley and Edelweiss cause I’ve seen discussions that my location might negatively influence my approvals.
- Do you experience hurdles or barriers to access for the kinds of books that you read? Please explain if so. Geolocking can be a pain, especially with audiobooks. I’ve had to give up on a series because I couldn’t get it anyway. I mostly buy ebooks for my kindle which are easy to get. Of course I’d love to be able to borrow ebooks and audiobooks from the library
- If you could make one change to the publishing landscape, what would you do? Translate & promote translated books more
- Help other international bloggers out… What resources do you use to obtain the books that you want to read? Ebooks for life mostly, and audiobooks. I do a fair bit of book shopping while travelling so I don’t have to pay transport fees. For indie books in exchange for honest reviews TBRindr is great
- Do you have any other experiences as a reader around the world that you would like to share? Thanks so much for having me and for doing this series, it’s really interesting!
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.
Let’s go on another adventure together!