One of the topics that will be discussed at the Filipino ReaderCon 2014 is what makes a diverse Filipino Reader. Since the event is just a week away, let’s treat Filipino Friday 4 as a prologue to it.
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?
di·ver·si·ty noun \də-ˈvər-sə-tē, dī-\
: the quality or state of having many different forms, types, ideas, etc.
I don’t think our books are diverse enough. I look at my book shelf and there is a glaring absence of local books. Why is that? Is it because my taste leans too much on Western titles? Or is it because we, particularly picky readers, do not have much to choose from?
Our writers are great but they are not able to present variety because there simply isn’t a lot of people taking writing as a serious profession. Writing is usually a hobby or a side project to many, and seriously, this is an insult to writers and to writing itself. But given this economy, the rumored pay, and the minimal exposure that writers get, who could blame people if writing is not a main source of living?
So where are the writers? Where are their works? Who publishes them? Am I not looking and trying hard enough?
Look, I actually have a list of Filipino books that I wish to buy and read. I admit that there isn’t much progress going on as far as completing that list is concerned, but you see, I’ve only seen a handful of the books in book stores. It makes me wonder if I should still hold on to that list. As of this moment, I still am.
Admittedly, my reading interest is myopic because I mostly read literary fiction. And that is a paradox because literary fiction has no borders. It is diverse in itself. This is why I feel like I’m a diverse reader. But when it comes to Filipino books, we need diversity. Enough of Wattpad. We need real books.
Let’s run into each other next Friday, okay?
For more information on the Filipino ReaderCon 2014, visit any of the following: