After reading Fadwa’s post on her experiences as an international reviewer, I started thinking about the restrictions I also face as a smaller international book blogger. Honestly, as an international reader overall.
As you may or may not know, I live in South America. As a whole, we’re considered “third-world” countries, and English is not widely spoken. Meaning, it’s hard to find books in English and the places that do have them are insanely expensive. As a student, I can’t afford that very often.
We get a good amount of translated books here, even if they are still pretty expensive, but the ones I really want to read either take forever to be translated (if they ever are) or I just have to get them online (usually from book depository because shipping is so expensive). And I know I’m super privileged that I even get to buy books, and that I have access to books in English, but it can be so frustrating at times.
And it’s not like I can go without buying books and just borrowing them, because there are no libraries. At least, not the type of libraries people are used to in the U.S.A/Europe. The city where I live has a big library, and so does my university, but those are both focused on academic texts and for personal enjoyment, I do prefer fiction. Sometimes I even read some non-fiction, but no luck in finding even that on the available libraries.
When it comes to blog or instagram tours, they are all usually focused on the U.S., Australia, and European countries, so we’re not considered for creating content or even for the giveaways.
The same goes for live tours and signings. It’s so rare that authors will come to visit us, and when they do the venue is so packed that you barely get 1 minute to talk to them. There aren’t many conventions or preorder campaigns (if at all), it’s very hard to buy merch or bookish boxes because of the insane shipping prices and we always get books much later than the aforementioned countries, even if you did preorder it internationally (since they are usually shipped from the U.S. or Europe, it takes a long time for them to get here). Meaning, more time to get accidentally spoiled online.
Again, I’m so privileged that I know English, that I can afford to buy books both in stores and online, that I have an iPad and can get ebooks. As Fadwa said in her post, this is not meant to garner pity, it’s about bringing attention to the issues international readers face. Talking about it is maybe the only way we can create change and make this a more inclusive community & industry.
If you haven’t already, I’d highly recommend you check Fadwa’s post out, as she puts it much better than I ever could.
Do you face any restrictions as a reader? Which one bothers you the most?
Until next time,