Filipino Friday 2014 (4): Let’s talk about Diverse Books

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It’s the final Filipino Friday before the Filipino Readercon 2014! For more details, hop on to the Filipino Readercon website.

This week’s prompt:

Do you think we have enough diversity in the books that we read? Are our choices enough to satisfy our different tastes? Are our writers able to present the variety of people, culture, lifestyle, interests and so on? How diverse are your reading interests, and are you able to find enough books to satisfy your reading needs? Do you think we need more diverse books?

If I talk about book diversity in the international scene, then yes, I can readily answer in the affirmative. However, when it comes to local books, I would say not yet, but we’re getting there. Since I am a fiction reader, I would love to see more local literary works and more importantly, make them more readily available and accessible. The short stories included in Manila Noir,  for instance, were all excellent reads, in my opinion, and I would love to see more of stories like these out in bookstores. Personally, I have only started reading local works last year, and most of what I have read so far are contemporary romances. Most were really good ones and I felt very proud each time I read a local romance novella written by a Filipino author with very good writing and excellent English.  Also, I would love to see more local genre books like crime stories ala Jeffery Deaver, and more speculative fiction like those written by Eliza Victoria.

I also love to read Christian literature and although there is already a number of Christian books by local authors available in bookstores (i.e. Ed Lapiz, Grace Chong), I would love to see fiction books espousing Christian values and biblical ideals along the lines of Frank Peretti and Francine Rivers.

As I’ve said I haven’t really read too many local books on the fiction front, and so far, I am satisfied with what I can get my hands on, at present. I am trying to compilations of short stories written by popular local authors (i.e. Nick Joaquin, Jose Garcia Villa) but I have encountered difficulties regarding the availability of copies (or maybe I haven’t been looking hard enough). My desire is that more local books become more available and easily accessible.

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