Hello everyone. My name is Taiwo and I’m an 18 year old student, blogger and bookstagrammer from Nigeria and this is my guest post for Meet the Book World Blog! Thank you so much Alienor for giving me the chance to do this (Aliénor : you’re very welcome ♥). This post is going to be divided into different sections and I hope you enjoy reading all I have to say about being a Nigerian book blogger.
In Nigeria, the general language is English so all books are in English. However, there’s a limit to the books I can get. New books in bookstores are very expensive (the cost of a book by a popular author is usually around my one week’s allowance) and even these books aren’t YA. The authors common in Nigeria are John Grisham, Dan Brown, James Patterson and it’s nearly impossible to find a YA novel. Sarah J Maas? Nope. Angie Thomas? Double nope. Becky Albertalli? You must be kidding (homosexuality is banned)
I also can’t buy from Book Depository, Wordery or Book Outlet because they don’t ship to my country (I also, sadly can’t participate in Book Depository giveaways which are very common). I’ve never bought a book from Amazon because they’re too expensive and shipping is very high.
Due to these problems, I usually buy my books from thrift shops but finding something I really want becomes harder because I can’t just pick what I want from a particular section.
Now, you may be thinking,”LIBRARIES!!” Well… sorry to disappoint but the libraries in Nigeria don’t have novels AT ALL. This is very common in a lot of countries and I know many international bloggers have spoken on this. The libraries in Nigeria are for textbooks, reference materials and boring stuff that no bookworm likes. I never even knew that libraries could actually have novels till I started blogging.
So, my source for books is limited to thrift shops which I’ve mentioned earlier aren’t the best.
Yes. I get e-ARCs sometimes. Before Netgalley’s rule, I was getting a lot of e-ARCs for review. Now, with the “wish for it” rule for international bloggers, I can’t get as many. I’ve never gotten a physical ARC and I guess that’s because I’m not a popular blogger. I am currently part of 4 street teams though and it has been a wonderful experience.
I’ve never been in a book convention or met my favourite author because such things don’t happen in Nigeria. Book tours that authors do never pass through Nigeria and there are never conventions like YALC and so on taking place in my country.
I’ve also never physically met another book blogger because there aren’t many book bloggers in my country. Nearly all Nigerian bloggers are fashion, lifestyle or beauty bloggers. In fact, in the six months I’ve been blogging, I’ve only ever met 3 other Nigerian book bloggers (all in different states). Since we’re so few, meeting another book blogger hasn’t happened yet but I hope it will someday.
The hardest thing with the book community is how indifferent publishers and a lot of authors are to the plight of international book bloggers. Netgalley’s rule also enforces this and it’s very painful because we work just as hard and sometimes, even harder at what we do. I hope this will change someday.
However, I have to say that I’ve met a lot of amazing people through blogging. The blogging community does its best to be very inclusive and I want to thank all those I’ve made friends with for making me feel welcome.
I talk to some of my friends about books but not very often. Since I’m in university, a lot of my friends are more interested in their grades than in novels. I read all my books in English and it’s my first language. I’ve never seen a book translated into any native Nigerian language like Yoruba, Igbo and so on so, I’m really glad I understand English and that it’s the language I was first introduced to.
My links are below. Do check them out. I would love to make new friends.