So, for those of you who don’t know, I live in India and being a bookworm in India is much different that staying in the U.S. or maybe the U.K. These are all troubles which arise because living in India, I’m majorly a reader of international books. I do read Indian books every once in a while, but let’s be honest, I wouldn’t be a reader if I didn’t read books published aborad.
So, these are all the little things I feel bad about, being an international reader living here. Had I been solely interested in Indian literature, I wouldn’t have to live with this, but for the better or worse, my tastes are much more diverse and I read pretty much every genre/culture I can get my hands on. Also, I’m a student and dependent on my parents, and I definitely don’t want to spend their money on anything that is a bit too costly or extravagant. Maybe one day with my own money – I’ll definitely consider buying the Rs. 1500 pop funko figurines, but now? Nope. Not that being a bookworm here is a struggle, or is necessarily bad, but I just wish that a few things could be easier/better here and here’s my list of all those things!
We don’t have that many! This is probably the saddest thing about being a bookworm here because the prices of all the big stores (like Crossword, Landmark) are ridiculously high and so not worth it. I find independent bookstores interesting, and also, I keep hearing about so many deals and sales going on in such bookstores [like paperbacks for $1 and hardbacks for $2] and I feel so ughhh. I wish we had them here! And this might make me sound weird, but books are costly, unless you’re a millionaire. We don’t have stuff like second hand bookstores either, nope nope. Books are super cheap in those stores, and we hardly have such bookstores!
Unless the book is extremely, extremely famous, international new releases are usually not stocked in bookstores here. Indian books are available very easily, but non-Indian books? It’s unheard of. I know that there’s always Amazon available, but suppose the normal price of a book is Rs 400 ($6), the price of new releases is (mostly) thrice the normal price. And that is crazy. Also, I have never had an experience where I visit my nearby bookstore on the release date of a book and take in the joy of buying the book on that same date. I don’t know when I’ll get to that, but I hope soon.
We don’t have local libraries, and libraries which are well-stocked with international books? Hardly. Most of the stuff in there is research material, or Indian literature and not that Indian literature is bad, but I don’t have the advantage of going to a nearby library and checking out the latest YA releases of the month. That can never happen. And this too, I hope changes soon.
I know this is a sensitive topic, so I’m not going to speak much about it. ARCs are handed out far less frequently and liberally here, as compared to people living abroad. Also, Indians don’t get ARCs for as many books as people get abroad, and especially when it comes to international books, it’s very difficult to get ARCs.
We don’t have a lot of stuff like this in here, even for Indian authors, let alone international ones. Can you tell how many times I’ve internally sighed when I look at signed copies of people living abroad? Probably 3438486789 times. Also, we don’t have events like BEA/BookCon/Yallwest/all such amazing bookish/fandom events at all here. Going aborad for attending such events is way too extravagant and at least for now, I definitely don’t want to use my parents’ money for a visit to such events, just for three-four days! Later on, using my own money – yeah definitely, it’s on my bucket list :D Same goes for author interviews.
I’ve heard of two/three bookish subscription boxes in India – but that is about it. Nothing as awesome or cool like the various multitude of subscription boxes available worldwide. I know that some of those do ship internationally, but their shipping charges will cover my book buying costs for a month! I so wish that in the near (or far) future, we have more bookish subscription boxes in India!
We hardly get bookish merch here! Unless the fandom is crazy famous like Harry Potter or Game of Thrones – it’s extremely difficult to come across affordable, suitable book merch in India.
This is my list of all the random little troubles and hassles I have as a bookworm here!