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Being An International Bookworm

A few days ago, I read this amazing post by Puput at Sparkling Letters on her struggles as an international bookworm/blogger and I loved it so much that it inspired me to do one such post myself! 

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!

Independent/Second-Hand Bookstores

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!

New Releases

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. 

Libraries

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. 

ARCs

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.

Events/Signings/Interviews

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. 

Subscription Boxes

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!

Bookish Merch

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!

Where do you live?! Do you have such hassles? Share them here!

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21 thoughts on “Being An International Bookworm

  1. OMG,you described my fellings so accurately.The most depressing thing is the lack of bookstores or libraries in India.Really hope that changes :)

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  2. Being Indian, I relate to this 105%! I love reading everyone’s posts about bookish conventions where they meet all the readers but we have exactly zero of those so I can’t meet anyone who shares the same reading interests. I’m with you on the absence of public libraries but JustBooks is pretty good! I had a membership till the 8th grade (after which my parents decided I read too much) and they had a lot of books. I’m not sure if they have all the YA books that I enjoy now but I did really like it before. I think we’re getting a bit better at the new releases thing. I had to order my copy of Son of Neptune online when it came out a couple years ago but at least now the more popular books release here at the same time. Have faith Anushka! We will get there soon :P We don’t have a lot of independent book stores here but when I lived in Bangalore, there was this AMAZING one called Blossom. I got so many books for Rs60/70 – It was awesome! Here in Bombay, there’s are a few branches of a second hand book store / lending library called L’amour. I’ve bought and sold books there a few times. It’s very hit or miss with them because they have a lot of good books sometimes and other times, they have only the Harry Potters and 50 Shades of Grey.
    This is a really unique idea for a post, I loved reading it :D

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  3. I’m spoiled with books myself. I live in Connecticut. What do I struggle with most? I read very slowly. When I’m really into a good book, I read even more slowly. It seems like I fall way behind and never get anything done! I love reading your blog, and it gives me a lot of inspiration to keep at it! 😉

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  4. I wanted to cry while reading this entry because of just how much I can relate!!!!! I live in the Philippines and a lot of my problems are similar to yours </3 </3 </3 Do you mind if I write a similar post? I'll credit here and the original post as well, ofc <3

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  5. I live in Slovakia and it’s such a heartbreaking thing to watch booktubers talk about their favourite new releases when I know that I will get my hands on them ONLY IF they get translated, and that takes a year at best. The libraries are quite well stocked here, though, but the thing about book signings and events rang the bell too since we are a small country and the possibility to attend such events is next to impossible. I rely mostly on the Internet for books.
    Anywho loved the post, can totally relate even though we live on different continents. :) have a beautiful day

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  6. Ahhh I’m jealous of second hand bookstores as well! I mean, I’m not even a fan of used books, but it would be nice to have that option :P AND WHAT’S WITH HARDBACKS FOR $2 RIGHT?? I buy hardbacks for $20 here… and the wait for new release is insufferable! Some books (weirdly) are sold right on their release date, and some even before, but there’s no way to know which books are going to be available and which aren’t… like Nevernight by Jay Kristoff, they STILL don’t have it until now. Too bad because I really want to read it :(

    And libraries… nope I can’t even…. just no. I also really want to try OwlCrate and Fairyloot because they seem SO COOL but the shipping cost is just ridiculous. I’m planning to try local subscription boxes soon, I hope they’re at least as good :’)

    Great post and thank you for linking to me! :D

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    1. Thanks and you’re welcome! IKR hardbacks for $2 😭😭 And yes here too, there’s no way to know whether new releases will make it to the shelves or not, though thankfully we do have Amazon and sometimes the prices on Amazon for new releases are pretty reasonable. And yeah, even I want to try out the subscription boxes!

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  7. Great post! I am feeling rather humbled by what you have written because I grumble about some of these things but really, I shouldn’t! Living in Australia makes having access to all these things easy… my greatest rant is the cost! While we have second hand bookstores, they’re dying out and it makes it harder to get cheap books! The cost of books here is ridiculous! I wish I paid $20 for a hardback… they’re more like $40 here! I would have a whole library of them if they weren’t so expensive!!

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  8. I can relate to this post so much, IN SO MANY WAYS. YOU HAVE TOUCHED MY MIND AND SOULD AND I JUST WANT TO CRY.

    So, living in the Philippines means that mostly everyone speaks English, but our economy isn’t so stable, meaning the dollar rate is pretty high. Books actually get released here on time, but it’s the price of the book itself that just makes me want to die of hopelessness.

    Liked by 1 person

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