Time to post Filipino Friday meme again to support the upcoming ReaderCon. This week topic is, Being a reader in the Philippines
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?
Reading is not a popular hobby here in the Philippines and surely not easy to maintain. With lots of most popular form of entertainment like televisions, computer games and night outs I find it hard to have circle of friends who make reading as a hobby.
We don’t have much public libraries here compare to other countries. I’ve only seen two so far – the Sinag Tala public library in Quezon City and the National Library in Kalaw, Manila. And these two libraries doesn’t lend books for outside use. You need to read the books within the library premises which I find inconvenient if you want to read thick pages for hours. Obviously these public libraries are for students who needs to do their research or homework.
If I can’t get a copy of books I want from local bookstore, I try to get it from online sellers like in ebay and multiply. But when I discover Book Depository from other online book bloggers, I enjoy the convenience of ordering books from them. Book depository got almost every book I need and they deliver it for free here in the Philippines. Though sometimes I still get frustrated with the waiting.
When I got my Kindle, I adopt to settle with eBooks for the titles that I can’t get physical copies in local bookstores. But since I still prefer to read printed books than eBooks, I try to limit buying eBooks to titles that I really want to read right away. Afterall, I still buy physical copies when they become available here. The only issues I got with buying eBooks is when the book I want isn’t allowed to purchase if you are outside US, which I find unfair! Why they need to limit the distribution? Also some of the titles of Kindle eBooks are priced higher for Asia Pacific users compare to US buyer. Really unfair!!!
On the positive side, books are cheaper here compare to other countries. Though the selections aren’t that wide I think we are still lucky to have the best titles of books to choose from. Like last time I’m in one of the bookstores in Singapore to hunt for Miyuki Miyabe’s books since I can’t find one here, I noticed books are more expensive to buy there. And they don’t have much good selections either for English titles books. I think English titles books are easy to get here compare to other countries that only sell translated versions.
Being a book lover here in the Philippines has both pros and cons but if we really love to read we Filipinos can surely find the means to do it.