Reading Around the Globe: Luci in The Netherlands
“My libraries have quite some books, but they don’t get new ones very often. Since most of the libraries are Dutch and have mostly Dutch books, I’d have to wait till a book is translated, published here, and then after a year or so, its available in the library.“
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? Luci
- Blog URL? Lunar Luci Books
- Twitter handle? @lunarlucibooks
- Where do you live? The Netherlands, Leidschendam
- 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! At the moment, not really. When I was younger and lived in Rijswijk, I lived quite close to a library. I have been reading since I was four, and when I grew up, I got new neighbors, with a girl around my age. We went to the library further away quite a lot, and another friend of mine also went to the library with me. We texted about the books and could spend hours in the library, talking about the books we recently loved and recommending each other books. A few years ago, I joined a Dutch Facebook group for reading, and made quite some international friends online to talk about books. When I moved out of home, and went to live in The Hague, I lived close to the big library in the city there. Sadly, I can say I haven’t had time to check out books there yet.
- What kinds of books do you enjoy reading? Young Adult, mostly sci-fi and fantasy, but I love a good contemporary too!
- Have you always been a reader? Oh wow should’ve read the questions before answering immediately haha. As stated above, I’ve been reading since I was 4 years old. My sister, 6 years old at the time, learned to read at school and me, being myself thought “she can read? I’ll have to do it too now”, and somehow taught myself to read! Since then, I’ve always been a reader.
- 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! Sometimes I do, my library doesn’t have many English books, and before I started to buy my own books, I always read Dutch books. In fact, I was only 12 years old when I had my first English Language Class, and only 14 years old when I read my first English book. My country publishes most of the popular English books, I think. I know many books I’ve read that are translated and published in Dutch, and there are a few Dutch-only writers, but I can honestly say I don’t know which ones.
- 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? And another one I talked about before haha. My libraries have quite some books, but they don’t get new ones very often. Since most of the libraries are Dutch and have mostly Dutch books, I’d have to wait till a book is translated, published here, and then after a year or so, its available in the library. Needless to say, I buy and read the English books before that.
- How prevalent are English published books where you live in bookstores? (For example, books printed by HarperCollins.) I’ve been to The American Bookcenter (located in The Hague and in Amsterdam) and to the Waterstones in Amsterdam, and both stores are quite up to date with published new books. Many of the books I’ve recently seen as “new” are available in the stores.
- 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 use NetGalley, but reading on my phone keeps being a difficult thing. I did receive a book I loved so much that I read it again and bought it in paperback too, so that’s a great thing. For me, it’s mostly about reading books that I don’t know, but would be interested in.
- Do you experience hurdles or barriers to access for the kinds of books that you read? Please explain if so. Other than Book Depository or the local bookstore, there’s limited access to the books I’d like to read if I don’t wanna pay too much. Most sites have crazy shipping fees to my country, and it really sucks.
- If you could make one change to the publishing landscape, what would you do? I think I would make publishing in multiple countries easier. Like, put a few publishers of the same name in a few countries so we can all have access to awesome books, without having to pay a lot or wait a year for the translation.
- Help other international bloggers out… What resources do you use to obtain the books that you want to read? I mostly use my local English bookstore, or I order it on Book Depository. They have free international shipping, which makes it amazing. I’ve heard lots of people about Amazon too, but so far, I haven’t had any luck with it. Besides that, I always browse around for secondhand books! They might not be as pretty as new ones, but a book is a book 🙂
- Do you have any other experiences as a reader around the world that you would like to share? I think that I speak for most Readers Around The World when I say that for us, trying to be a bookblogger/reader is not easy. We don’t get sent ARC’s, we can’t easily get access to English books, and if we do, the price is mostly higher than those in native English countries pay. I am welcome to any advice on this!
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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Let’s go on another adventure together!