lover of written words

Filipino Reader Fridays: Reader in the Philippines

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.


Filipino Reader Fridays: Reader’s Story

We are on our second week of Filipino Friday to support the First Filipino Reader Conference. Each week we will be discussing reader related topics. Last week I introduced my self as a reader and the books I love to read, now let me extend more about it because our second topic is:

Your Reader’s Story:

How did you become a reader? What factors influenced you to take up reading as a hobby and why do you enjoy it so much?

I’m not really sure how did I become a reader. As far as I remember my childhood memories doesn’t include much reading books even we have lots of books at home. I am more into outdoor stuffs, playing with my friends and exploring every corner of our neighborhood when I was a kid. We don’t have a reading session like what other kids do with their parents at night. My father used to tell us stories before bedtime but it is more on story telling without a book. But I enjoy reading as much as I enjoy playing outside it just that our books at home doesn’t really suit for me. Most of the books we have when I was a kid are for studies. It took me awhile to find a way to enjoy them. If there is one person in our home who really love to read I guess that would be my brother. He is seven years older than me, so basically most of his books doesn’t piqued my interest until it become too old and too dusty to read. I remember picking up one of Elery Queen mystery series from his shelf at early age and I’m not sure if I really did understand what I’m reading at that time. So I give up trying to read his books.

It is during highschool when I finally invest time to reading. Our school library offers a wide selection of fictions other than textbooks so I got the chance to read some of my favorite books like Nancy Drew mystery books. I also borrowed Sweet Valley High from a friend and even rent books from others. That was the time I enjoy reading fictions that I end up reading at night with a flashlight in hand.

What I really enjoy about reading is the ability to get lost while I’m reading.  It give me the chance to experience things I wouldn’t easily experience in real life. It also makes me travel to a world that I wouldn’t dare visiting or to see wonderful places I never been to. I also love the smell of books or dead trees as i call it. Is that weird?

Reading is my escape…


Filipino Reader Fridays: Introduction

Filipino Friday is a weekly meme originally hosted by Filipino Book Bloggers to discuss book related topics. But for now we are using it to promote the upcoming Filipino Reader Convention.

“Every Friday, a topic will be posted and all Filipino readers are encouraged to make their own post about that topic. Anyone can join as long as your post can be viewed by everyone else – you can post it on Tumblr, Blogspot, WordPress or any other social networking site – just make it a public post. A widget will be included in each Filipino Friday post to round up all the links so we can all browse and comment on all the meme posts.”

The meme topic for this week is Introduction.

Tell us everything that we need to know about you as a Filipino reader. You can talk about the genres that you read, your favorite authors, your comfort reads and your best books of 2011. You can also include links of where other readers can find you online: Blog, Twitter, Goodreads, Shelfari, etc.

There is this post entitled “Reading Life” I posted in this blog before which basically tells my history as a reader – how I become a reader, what type of books I start reading and how I manage my reading habits. That post is perfectly fitted for the first two topics of this weekly meme. And since I’m done discussing my life as a reader from that post let me just tell you more about the books I read.

If you’ll ask me to name one book or one genre I love to read you wouldn’t get one answer from me. There is no such thing as ONLY ONE favorite book or one particular genre that I love. In fact most of my favorite books falls into different categories. I choose the books I read not because of the genre it belongs to but mostly because it piqued my interest.

I first in love with fantasy fictions when I was a kid which I think leads me to read more. As the years pass my reading preferences changes. I used to pick-up books from different genre because I easily get bored reading books from the same category consecutively but now YA books are taking the larger space of my bookshelves. I started reading YA books late last year which I’m still exploring. So far I tried fantasy, mystery, paranormal, dystopia, contemporary and a few steampunk.

I still re-reads some of my books even I don’t have much time to pick-up the books I recently acquired. Some of my re-reads this year are The Giver, Tuesdays with Morrie and some of Og Mandino’s books. From my this year reads Suzzane Collin’s The Hunger Game series added to my favorite list of books. Patrick Ness’ Chaos Walking series consumes my little reading time this past few days besides with the technical and business books I need to read.

That’s all for now because I feel I’m writing this post half-asleep -__- . You can find me in goodreads, twitter, facebook and formspring. And don’t forget to check The First Filipino Reader Conference. Just click the image below for more details or check the event schedule here.