INTERNATIONAL GUEST POST – Morgane’s Life As a Swiss Reader


I’d like to clarify a few stereotypes about my country before taking you with me in the quest I went on to find Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli. I think you’ll be surprised that it isn’t snowing 24 / 7 here!

I’m living next to a snow-persons cemetery, I admit, but violet cows don’t eat the daisies they have pushed up in case you thought we had genetically manipulated cows in Switzerland. To my greatest sorrow, I’m not living in a castle with a fireplace with violet cows eating daisies in my own snow-persons graveyard. I can’t even fill my bathtub with money bills unless I make a robbery. I live close to a city that we thought smart to build on hills in a cosy apartment where Frankenstein II* and I spend lovely afternoons. I’m up whenever you want for the castle and the genetically modified cows.

*Not my cat. I let you with this mystery.

ANYWAY! Hi, I’m Morgane. I’m the owner of a mini-tiny lavender bookshelf with its small collection of dark books. I like tiny krakens, believe bookworms are possessed by parasites, Lectio Vermis, that nest in the brain. I write scientific papers* on my experiments on this virus; available to read on I’m also on [Insert Any Social Media™ ] , search for @octopussquirrel – that’s me!

* ‘ I do not think 2400 words on crossover ships can really count as a scientific paper. ’ Nobody asked you, Charlotte!

I set foot in reality again last Wednesday and went to the bookshop with the plan to purchase Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda. I thought I’d take you with me so you see the behind the scenes of the bookworms life in Switzerland.

Warning: You should put on your best shoes, kraken! ( Seriously, put on your best shoes. )

I jumped at the chance when we weren’t risking frostbite; the sunniest day in forever. We have only one bookshop in my city belonging to Payot. If I’m not wrong, they are the only bookstore franchise in Switzerland with Ex-Libris, an exclusively online bookshop. We are doing a detour to my favorite place that has an all-floor dedicated to books first. On the shelves, À Tous Les Garçons Que J’ai Aimés par Jenny HanSix of Crows par Leigh BardugoLa Cité Des Ténèbres par Cassandra Clare and Les Chroniques Lunaires par Marissa Meyer but also Le Gang Des Prodiges and Eliza Et Ses Monstres par Francesca Zappia which surprises me in a good way!

Why is it a good surprise?

Thing is, books are not automatically translated. They are books that have sold overseas although it’s not always the case. For example, The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater, a well-loved quartet in the book community, is only available digitally and not all sequels were translated. It means hidden gems almost never fall on our laps. Reading in English opens infinite possibilities, rabbit’s burrow leading to new Wonderland.

Do you have a favorite book in your first language?

It may not be my favourite book, but I really liked Les Cendres De L’Oubli par Carina Rozenfeld (Aliénor : Ohhhhh, I remember that book!). The story is set in the south of France with crickets singing in fields of lavender and sea salt and pine sweetening the air; a lovely change of landscape. I’d like to keep reading French books. Maybe write posts about the adventures you miss? I don’t want to miss out great stories because I change my default reading setting. I’m lucky to have a plugin that allows me to switch, so I might as well use it!

I’m also surprised to see they are cheaper than a few years ago when I stopped buying my books in Switzerland because I really love my kidneys.

Where do you buy your books if it’s not in Switzerland?

I was waiting for summer to feed my demon abibliophobia in the country next door, buying as many books as my suitcase could swallow. They were just books to keep busy the worms really, being a moony bookworm it wasn’t the best strategy. It’s surely why I suffered from a long-lasting reading slump the past few years. I got my kindle and the worms found some new energy. I change the way I feed my demon since then. I purchase physical books if I liked it; my wallet purrs and the worms are still high on stories.

Moi, Simon, 16 ans, Homo Sapiens isn’t displayed on every shelf like I thought. It’s not even next to Mes Hauts, Mes Bas Et Mes Coups De Coeur En Séries. ( THE HEAVEN!? )

(Aliénor : I knoooooow, what’s up with these French titles? Are the French okay??)

Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda isn’t on the shelves next to Lady Midnight by Cassandra ClareIlluminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay KristoffChildren of Blood and Bone by Tomi AdeyemiTurtles All The Way Down by John GreenRenegade by Marissa Meyer. Two shelves to feed greedy parasites.

Why did you change your default reading setting? Do you have a death wish!? Two shelves are not enough to feed well worms!

I do not wish death upon me. I’m aware it wouldn’t be enough to keep them fat and happy. I know places and have a device smaller on the outside than it is on the inside. I change my default reading language without really meaning to. I started reading for fun in English because it was a good way to improve myself. (Painful, but a good way.) I adore my first language! I mean “ go sideways ” is “ go in peanut / lollipop. ” So, why give up my own language? Despite for the safety of my organs who after research proves that I’m worth million and of course, the many adventures I’d be missing, I love hearing violins in heartbreaking moments. If you don’t have the chance to have a plugin that allows you to understand different languages, imagine your favorite quote in a helium voice.

Is it because of your new default setting that you are blogging in English?

I’m blogging in my default reading setting because I read mostly books that are jealously kept overseas but also because it was a way to code my insanity. Seeing how terrified are my friends (not infected by the bookworms virus) when we talk series / movies, it’s better that way, really. I’m sorry I’m a puppy that had too much caffeine ok!

We leave for the bookshop after I stared at all the books with adoring eyes for 1-hour or so. Moi, Simon, 16 ans, Homo Sapiens is missing on the shelves again.

We go upstairs to the English Section. It’s a whole bookshelf that waits for us this time. There are absolutely beautiful fairy tales books making doey eyes at me, Strange the Dreamer by Laini TaylorChildren of Blood and Bone by Tomi AdeyemiScythe by Neal ShustermanThe Hate U Give by Angie ThomasThey Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera. I turn into a pterodactyl when I see PS. I Still Love You by Jenny Han– it’s 12.90CHF, about 24 apples.

I like apples pies!

I like apples pies too and all kind of cakes! To keep eating cakes though, I have to think about my wallet. I worth millions, but I’d like to keep these millions in my body, not in somebody else. Translated Paperbacks cost 25-30 CHF which equals 5 lemon cakes or 2-days of grocery shopping if you forget cakes; as for hardcovers, they are extremely rare thing. Which is fair. Everyone needs money to buy oh-yummy coconut cakes, even the evil who erases the violins. But I want coconut cakes too! The glitch is that I have to purchase my books in English– They are cheaper, 10 to 18 CHF. eBooks too. To give you an idea, Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens is 7,66 CHF, Moi, Simon, 16 ans, Homo Sapiens, 18,11 CHF. That’s a big gap! I turn into a pterodactyl* again when Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda start to glow at the top of the shelf. It’s like being in front of automatics doors. I’m not sure I can get it like I’m never sure automatics doors will open because I’m ridiculously small. I’m not trying to figure out a way though, I can see the spine is wrecked.

* That should be the new “ she let out a shriek she didn’t realize she’d been holding. ”

I think to simply get it on my kindle. I’ll be at a click to read the first sentence. However, to go all the way, we are going to visit digital bookshops as well!

I did my little investigation on Amazon’s shipping fees– their shipping fees are free up to 25 CHF in Switzerland; 5 CHF by shipment. It means you should at least have for more than 25 CHF worth of books in your basket. I’d like to try Book Depository so we are skipping Amazon. For those wondering ‘what about Ex-Libris?’ They are more expensive than anywhere else, so. Book Depository have a free shipping policy worldwide which is freaking cool! I’m still wary of clearance fees, though– knock on wood! Of course, I don’t have only Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda in my basket, Eliza and her Monsters finds its way to it. I’m a weak bookworm. 32.28 CHF for 2 hardcovers*. No shipping fees.

/ victory trumpet / I WIN!

* What? There is bonus in Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda! 

Post-Scriptum: I’d like to thank Aliénor to have given me the chance to share my quest in search of Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, to have been so sweet when I told her I’d send this post as fast as I can and to let bookworms of everywhere borrow for a little while her spotlight. (Aliénor : you’re so very welcome!)

Thank you so much Morgane for writing this post! You can find her here : 

BlogBookworms Eat Brains
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