Filipino Friday is a weekly meme used by Filipino Book Bloggers to discuss more about book they read, the events and happenings that affect the world of literature. For now, as a part of an upcoming event, we are using this meme to promote the upcoming The Filipino Reader Convention on September 14 and to promote the Filipino Readers.
I know I am late for this Filipino Friday! So it’s not Filipino Friday but Filipino Monday. Anyway, for this week, our topic is the one discussed (and ranted) mostly by Filipino readers: How hard or easy is it to be a book lover in the Philippines? What are some of your frustrations as a Filipino reader (e.g. availability of books)? What are positive aspects of being a reader based in the Philippines (e.g. book prices are lower here than they are abroad)?
When I was a kid, I don’t see any difficulty acquiring books in the country since there exist such second-hand book stores such as Book Sale, Books For Less, Chapters and Pages (aside from the leading book stores in the country). I mentioned in my last post that the first book I’ve read is Lauren Day’s Rockett’s World which is a series and I’m heartbroken by the fact that it’s not available in the country. But that’s it! Instead of crying in one corner, I searched for more in every corner of those second-hand stores.
I only realized how hard it is to be a reader when I grew up. Internet is such a temptation and yes, what a heart breaker. You know why? It opened my eyes. I can see how other countries have Books Expo America (BEA), American Library Association book festivals (ALA), Book Bloggers Conventions, SAN DIEGO COMIC-CON (frakking tears everywhere!!!). And how these readers can snag Advance Reader’s Copies (ARCs) of the latest books of some authors. They are also able to meet different authors and graphic novel artists! See how painful is that? I’m totally envious! I could sell my limbs, liver, two kidneys, pancreas, gallbladder and even my adipose tissues for a plane ticket to America (lol, IDK how a body will survive without them).
Another is that, there are book shortages here in the Philippines. Take for example, Stephanie Perkins’ Anna and the French Kiss, I wasn’t able to read it with an actual book for the first time but from an e-book because it’s freaking out of stock in the leading book stores here. I have to wait for, like, more than six months for them to have a stock. But you know how fast and compulsive book buyers here in the Philippines are, with a blink of an eye, it’s gone again. But let’s look at the bright side! There exist such online multiply shops who are selling books acquired from the US of A for a very cheap price! See, I bought my copy of Anna and the French Kiss, sealed and hardbound edition of P540! Also, there exist Book Depository that offers FREE SHIPPING to the Philippines. But, I don’t have a credit card :(
Another is that, I’m always behind what’s new with books! Man, sometimes, I can’t afford the prices of the new released books and I have to wait for it to be on-sale, on bargain or if lucky, seen at Book Sale. Anyway, I’m used to it since I am still able to read the book even after months of waiting.
Wait, there’s more! Haha! But this is to say how lucky we are as readers because the books here are cheaper compared to other countries. The last time I went to Singapore and had book-hunt, I am surprised how expensive their second-hand books (compared here!) and I only bought two books (one signed and one really old copy) for S$5/8 (P175/280!). It’s like I bought a brand new book in the Philippines. Meh. In understand why it is so because they have good libraries everywhere with good every-genre title unlike here in the Philippines.
Anyway, that doesn’t stop me from reading. Thank you very much.
How about you? What are your thoughts about this? Do you have difficulty in acquiring books that you want to read? Join our Filipino Friday Meme!
To readers, book lovers, writers, authors and publishers, don’t forget to join our First EVER FILIPINO READER CONFERENCE on September 14, 2011! For more details, please visit the Filipino Reader Con website and follow @PinoyReaderCon on Twitter.