Reading Around the Globe: Emma in France
“I feel like ARCs are not really available for us, I think in France the book industry don’t really consider book bloggers as an important part. After almost seven years of blogging, no publisher ever reached out to me, only independent little authors!“
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.
- What is your name? Hi! I’m Emma!
- Blog URL? Mengueis De Livres
- Twitter handle? @mangeusedelivre
- Where do you live? I live in the South of France (the best part of France in my opinion – because I love the climate and landscapes!).
- 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 don’t think so, my classmates would always complain when we had to read one book for the year and I was always considered like an alien because I read books and actually enjoyed it! But on the other hand, I see a lot of people reading in the subway so I don’t really know. I feel like in small villages (where I went to school), people prefer going out with friends than reading. I answer the other half of this question in question 7 :).
- What kinds of books do you enjoy reading? That’s a good question. I don’t really know because it’s been a while since I read a book that inspired me (as, in the last two years, I re-read the Harry Potter series in English and am currently in a project to read a book from every country in the world so I don’t really get to choose a specific book that appeal to me). I know I never was a big fan of thrillers or romance but other than that I kind of read everything! In any case I know I love books that have a message and are not just entertaining.
- Have you always been a reader? Absolutely! When my mother read bedtime stories to my sister and I, after two pages she would stop reading out loud and we would never know the end of stories (she was too submersed in the stories she would just finish reading them in her head). I think that’s why we quickly learned to read and grew a passion for books (the sooner children read books, the more they will like reading in their life). But also my mother is a bookworm so I guess this stuck in the family.
- 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 do read French books. I’m currently in the middle of my project to read a book from every country in the world so I am not really aware of if specific kinds of books are published in France. I think there is around everything except maybe big Fantasy sagas (when writing that sentence, a french Fantasy saga came to my mind –Tara Duncan by Sophie Audouin-Mamikonian- so my answer might be irrelevant ^^’).
- 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? Yes, I would say that there are lots of libraries in France. They all provide different kinds of books according to their document policy. I think you can find anything as long as you look in the good library. In my small town’s libraries you can ask for a book to be bought if they don’t have it and they will provide it to you.
- How prevalent are English published books where you live in bookstores? (For example, books printed by HarperCollins.) To be honest, even if I read a lot of English books, we have so much big french publisher (Hachette, Gallimard, Flammarion, Bayard, Albin Michel, Seuil…) that we tend to see them the most and not too much of English published books!
- 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? No I don’t. I tried Edelweiss after reading about it on your blog but I couldn’t request anything (I don’t know if it’s Edelweiss France that doesn’t have a lot of book open to review or if I just don’t know how to use the website ^^’) so I stopped using it.
- Do you experience hurdles or barriers to access for the kinds of books that you read? Please explain if so. I don’t, because I only buy second-hand books (for ecological purposes) I don’t have to worry if a book has been discontinued. And like I said, libraries will buy you any book you like.
- If you could make one change to the publishing landscape, what would you do? I would love publishers to stop favour “safe” books (as in: bestseller books that have no ambition of innovating or going off the rails).
- Help other international bloggers out… What resources do you use to obtain the books that you want to read? I only read second-hand books and I boycott Amazon so I use BookDepository (free international shipping!), Leboncoin (the french Ebay) or go into my local bookstores.
[Kal’s note: Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but Book Depository is owned by Amazon. I know! I was gutted to find this out because I also avoid purchasing from Amazon. It’s a great resource for international readers in terms of bringing access and free shipping, but if you avoid Amazon for ethical reasons, you will find it is hard to fully boycott.]
- Do you have any other experiences as a reader around the world that you would like to share? Hum… I don’t know about being a reader in general, but I have something to say about being a book blogger around the world. I feel like ARCs are not really available for us, I think in France the book industry don’t really consider book bloggers as an important part. After almost seven years of blogging, no publisher ever reached out to me, only independant little authors! (I’ve seen french book bloggers being sponsored by big publisher but I feel like it’s less common than in the UK/US. My difficulty is due to the fact that my blog is in French, so I guess publishers think it doesn’t reach enough people.) Thank you for having me here! 🙂
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.
💖 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! ☕
Let’s go on another adventure together!