Hello everyone! ♥
Last week I got busy and didn’t have the time to blog or reply to comments so I’m so sorry for being kind of missing 😛 but now I’m back with another discussion post. You probably realized that I’m usually super organized with my post but today, I’m not sure where I’m going with it so I’m just gonna wing it 😛
A couple weeks ago, I stumbled across some similar conversations about library.
The first is about problematic books. With the ongoing rise of diversity, people have been raising awareness of the problematic aspects of popular books, the latest being the controversy regarding Carve the Mark. Many issues have been brought up and we were encouraged to not support the book through buying it. But then some people say, “I’m aware of its problems, but I still want to read it, what am I supposed to do?” then some people reply by saying, “Just check it out from the library. Don’t give the book your monetary support.”
The second is about piracy. A blogger posted something about other blogger asking her for an epub version of a book. As you can guess, the response was… harsh. People were bashing the blogger in question and say things like, “that’s disgusting, libraries exist!” or “there’s library!!!” and every other similar sayings. Be aware that I do NOT condone or support piracy, but that’s not the point of this post. An author also tweeted that, I quote, it is so easy to use a library instead of pirating.
Forget about problematic books and piracy (for now), I’m not gonna talk about it. But that solutions telling us to check out the books from library? It doesn’t work for everyone. And that’s what I’m going to talk about today. A few months ago I mentioned it briefly on my post about the struggle of international bookworm but since most people seem to not get it yet, I guess it bears saying again.
This might be news for some of you but for a lot of us, libraries don’t provide popular YA books. In Indonesia, libraries are educational. They have plenty of educational or general books like encyclopedia and dictionary and all that. They also have a lot of children’s books, because apparently they only care to encourage children’s to read, not adults :’) sure they have some teenlit books but most of them are locals and from years ago.
The library itself is so rare. Most cities have their own public libraries but they are… old. Old, dusty, and the stocks are super limited. Plus it’s not cozy like you may imagine. School and university libraries are better, but they’re educational. My uni library is pretty amazing when it comes to psychology textbooks and journals but they don’t have anything recreational.
Tasya, my fellow Indonesian blogger also agreed with me. She bluntly said that the library here sucks There are barely any “modern” books, and when there are, it’s limited to teenlit. Apparently, this doesn’t only happen in Indonesia, because on my previous post, a lot of international bloggers also said that they experienced the same thing.
Anushka said that in India, they hardly have any good libraries and that she’s so jealous of people having access to well-stocked libraries. Jordyn lives in US now, but before that she lived in South Africa for 9 years and she said that when she walked into a library in the US, she was speechless. SPEECHLESS. She didn’t know that libraries could have YA books because in South Africa, all the books were either educational, or for little kids. Kate said that in Phillipines, there’s almost no such thing as public libraries. Kate’s university library has a small collections of contemporary fiction but it’s definitely not enough. Fadwa also wrote this thoughtful post a while back about the issue of access to books and piracy based on her experience living in Morocco.
Even if libraries exist and provide recreational reads, as a non English speaking country we don’t get as much English books. Imported books are simply not as common as local books. I mostly buy my books from Book Depository because they’re not available here. Clearly they won’t be available in our local libraries.
That being said, for some of us the only legal way to read books is through buying it, either physically or as ebooks. That’s why we don’t have the choice to just read a book without supporting it with our money. I’m not writing this post to make people feel bad for having a better circumstances, or god forbid for justifying piracy. That’s not what I’m talking about right now—even if I completely understand where they come from.
I never regret not living in US or UK or any other countries with better access to books and I never resent those who are. I guess… I just want people to know that not everyone has the same easy access to books we’d like to read. To remind people that the life of a bookworm is more difficult for some of us, that there are a lot of people who aren’t as lucky. We all know that piracy is wrong, not to mention illegal and unethical, but when someone asks for a pdf/epub version of a book, maybe stop a bit and think about their possible circumstances before attacking them and saying that there’s library, because maybe there isn’t. Not for them. Come up with a better solution or tell them not to pirate gently.
Alright, that was the end of my ramble! I feel like I had zero direction on where I wanted to take this conversation to but I hope I got all my points across?hehe now I want to hear your thoughts! Do you have easy access to books and libraries? Or do you not? Tell me your thoughts and experience because I’d love to hear them all! ♥
Find more of me on my social media ♦