Reading Around the Globe: Annie in Rwanda

“There’s this one public library in Kigali, the biggest of them all, it has got a wide range of books from locally published ones to international bestsellers. Sometimes it’s challenging to find the books you want but that’s been easy now that you can order them online.”

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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?Β Annie
  2. Blog URL? The Sunflower Bookshelf
  3. Twitter handle? @sunflowerreader
  4. Where do you live?Β Kigali, Rwanda
  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 It’s still low but growing. I started reading when I was a Kid from a neighborhood library and I grew up loving it. I’ve always found comfort in stories.
  6. What kinds of books do you enjoy reading?Β Young adults fiction, thrillers and poetry.
  7. Have you always been a reader? Yes.
  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!Β Yes, I read them. Most of the books that are written in kinyarwanda are historical books and kids books. You’ll find many kids books in local bookstores.
  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’s this one public library in Kigali, the biggest of them all, it has got a wide range of books from locally published ones to international bestsellers. Sometimes it’s challenging to find the books you want but that’s been easy now that you can order them online.
  10. How prevalent are English published books where you live in bookstores? (For example, books printed by HarperCollins.)Β They’re really scarce. Most of the books that are in Kigali are from Penguin.
  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 No I don’t use them.
  12. Do you experience hurdles or barriers to access for the kinds of books that you read? Please explain if so.Β Not really. Unless I’m out of coins, lol.
  13. If you could make one change to the publishing landscape, what would you do?Β I’d tell them to consider all stories that’s brought to them. Because you never which story will help who.
  14. Help other international bloggers out… What resources do you use to obtain the books that you want to read?Β I’m surrounded with bookworm friends. We get each other books.
  15. Do you have any other experiences as a reader around the world that you would like to share?Β Be part of a book club. Reading communities help you grow in one way or the other as a reader.

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!

5 Comments

  1. Reading Around the Globe – Reader Voracious Blog

    June 1, 2019 at 9:21 AM

    […] Rwanda Annie @ Sunflower Bookshelf […]

  2. Isabelle @ BookwyrmBites

    June 1, 2019 at 6:47 PM

    book clubs and bookworm / bookwyrm / bookdragon friends are definitely a huge help! I’ve been introduced to so many titles, authors, and viewpoints that I hadn’t previously considered – especially since starting college and meeting new people that I didn’t grow up with, haha.

    and I absolutely agree that publishers need to create more equal access; there are definitely barriers of privilege for a lot of #ownvoices authors, and also for authors who tackle difficult issues that others might not consider “appropriate” to publish.

  3. Redhead

    June 2, 2019 at 5:33 AM

    this was a great interview! having book-ish friends always helps, each person buys a book or two and then shares them around the group so everyone can enjoy.

    1. Kaleena @ Reader Voracious

      June 9, 2019 at 9:51 PM

      Thank you so much for reading!

  4. Jennifer Pletcher

    June 3, 2019 at 7:05 AM

    Great as always – thanks for sharing your story, Annie!

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