Hi, I’m Maegan from the tropical country of the Philippines! I’m a part time blogger of Of Stranger Worlds, part time photographer of all my pictures at my Bookstagram, and full time fangirl of anything related to books! Before anything, I’d just like to thank Aliénor for this opportunity, and I’d like to send her all my appreciate for putting this all together. (Aliénor : Thank YOU for taking part in this project!)
So, without further ado, let’s get right to the heart of the questions!
Where do you buy books?
The Philippines has only three major bookstore franchises that I know of: National Bookstore, Fully Booked, and Powerbooks (which is also owned by National Book Store). Usually, I buy my books from Fully Booked because they offer a wider variety of YA books and because I have a membership card there, which gives me 10% off of the books I buy.
But for all the YA books available here, a lot more are still unavailable. When that’s the case, my go-to site is Book Depository. I mean, who can resist free worldwide shipping, right?
Can you find English books in your country?
Yeah, our country is actually pretty blessed to have an incredibly wide range of English books. More popular ones (like Kiera Cass’s The Selection or Stephanie Perkins’s Anna and the French Kiss) have Tagalog translations, but we mostly have English books for YA.
What is your situation regarding online sales?
If you’re asking me if it hurts my wallet to buy books online, then the answer is one big YES. I don’t think shipping is a problem because Amazon, Barnes and Noble, etc. offer to ship to my country, but it’s the shipping fees and the custom fees that have me scraping my coins. It’s a little tough when I want a book that’s available only to the US, because I have to pay more than I would have if it was available here in the first place.
Do you have access to a public library?
Access, yes. But our public libraries are nothing like the ones in the US. Our public libraries here are mainly archives of national books, history textbooks, and non-fictional tomes. There’s little to no fiction books of today.
Do you get arcs? eBooks? physical arcs?
I mostly request and receive eARCS rather than physical ARCs. There are a handful of Filipino bloggers here who receive physical ARCs from giveaways and publishers, but I personally prefer eARCs because they save me the cost of handling fees and the concern that they might not make it here in time. Packages tend to get lost or delayed, and it’s not something I want to be constantly fretting about.
Have you ever been to a book event?
I’ve never been to a book convention–nothing like Yall Fest or anything like that, which is a heartbreaker–but I have been to book signings! Book signings are rare, though, so people tend to flock to the event once a YA author comes here. I haven’t met my favorite author yet, though, but I’m hoping she comes here soon. (Please, Victoria Schwab! Please!)
Have you ever met a fellow book blogger?
Not yet for me! There are a lot of Filipino bloggers here, I’ll tell you that, but I’m just. So. Darn. Shy.
What is the hardest for you to deal with in the book community?
The hardest thing for me isn’t even having differing opinions or different tastes on books (although those can be pretty difficult for me, too). It’s that I can’t afford all the books I want to read because they’re so darn expensive. In the US, they have amazing sales or sites like Thrift Books or Book Outlet. In here, we have to rely on quarterly sales; and even then, it’s nowhere near as cheap as books from Book Outlet.
Do you talk about your favorite books with your friends IRL?
Oh, definitely! I’m shy with meeting new people, but I don’t hesitate to gush about books with the people in my life who read as well. Not many of us read, though, so I mostly take to Twitter or Instagram to gush about my feelings.
Have your favorite books been translated into your first language?
There are a couple! Like I mentioned earlier, there were Kiera Cass’s The Selection series and Stephanie Perkins’s Anna and the French Kiss trilogy. There were also John Green books translated in Tagalog and other popular trilogies like The Hunger Games or Divergent.
In what languages do you read books?
I can read English, Tagalog, and very little of Chinese, though I mostly read books in the latter two languages only when it’s required. Personally, I prefer to read in English because 1) there are some Tagalog words that are too deep for me to understand, and 2) I grew up reading fictional stories in English. I guess I’m more inclined and more familiar with reading that than my first language.
So, yeah, that’s all I’ve got for now! Honestly, though my country doesn’t have a full access on all the latest YA books out there, we’re pretty blessed to have access on most of them.