The struggle of being a bookworm & living abroad

7th October 2016
Books, Lifestyle / 12 Comments

The Struggle of being a bookworm and living abroad >> Simply Adrift
The Struggle of being a bookworm and living abroad >> Simply Adrift

I’m a New Zealander, I’ve lived in New Zealand most of my life. However, just over two years ago now I moved to London. Which is all the way on the other side of the world. A 27 hour & way too expensive flight away. I mean you can’t even get one direct flight from London to New Zealand. It’s too far away for that.

No we don’t live in huts in NZ, we live in proper houses (I have seriously been asked this before AND recently! lol). You will find normal cities just like the one you live in or have visited to, yes we have farmland and yes we have more sheep in NZ than the population in NZ as a whole (which is 4.6 million as of 2015 – People this is, not the sheep).

I love it here in London, I miss the sunny weather in NZ and my friends and family, but not much else. Well except that when I lived in NZ I was in the position to own AS MANY BOOKS AS I WANTED! Yes. You read right. That means that since I have moved to London I have had to curb my bookish ways. It’s horrific I tell you!

As I’m living abroad and this cannot be my permanent residency, I have issues when it comes to loving books. I’ve had to deal with this for two years already!

1. I couldn’t bring my paperback books with me


I moved from New Zealand to London with one massive suitcase and one backpack. I either sold, gave away or threw everything else I owned out. Yep. That means I sold, gave away or threw my books out! Well actually, I didn’t throw any books out (thank god).

This was incredibly hard for me to do. But I decided that I would be able to buy those books again when I’m settled down in a country and I know I won’t have to pack my life up again. So I will have those books again!

2. I have no room for books in my flat


My flat here in London is tiny. Which means there is no room for books. Actually. THERE IS NO ROOM FOR BOOKS! This is crazy. But we barely have anywhere to put our food let alone anywhere to put a bookshelf, so there’s no where to put the books. As for the food, we have to only buy what we need and go back to the grocery store mid-week – this is because we have a mini fridge between three people (This is how small my flat is).

So this is one of the reasons that I had to start using my ereader instead of reading precious paperbacks, there is just no space.

3. When I leave this country I have to ship everything home


Hence the reluctance to buy anything bookish.

I honestly couldn’t imagine how hard it would be to ship my books back to New Zealand, I would either have to buy extra luggage or pay hundreds, maybe even thousands (depending on size & weight) to have the books shipped via BOAT all of the way back to NZ. And if I had it shipped by boat it would take a whole 3-5 MONTHS until I would get my boxes delivered! And who would know what condition they would be in at that stage!

So no. I cannot buy myself physical books. Because there’s just no way I would plausibly be able to get them all the way over to the other side of the world.

4. The library system isn’t as good here


Okay. Maybe this one is just me. But I don’t get the library system here. I’ve tried to sign up to the library down the road but it really just feels a bit too difficult with having to provide proof of residency and proof of address etc. Plus the hours they’re open doesn’t leave me a lot of time to visit after work…

Also, the book selection is actually just crap. I’ve suggested a few books but they don’t have any new releases at all. Perhaps it’s because not a lot of people borrow books from the library? I don’t know what it is but it’s just not worth signing up in my opinion. Which sucks.

In New Zealand our library system was amazing, new releases were constant, it was easy to check books out and extend the amount of time you wanted them for, you could rent ebooks and everything!


While I 100% love living here in London, it’s really hard being a book lover when I know I can’t permanently reside here. I can’t buy things like books or even home-ware because I wouldn’t plausibly be able to ship them home. I haven’t even thought about contacting publishers to ask for physical copies of ARCs because I would have no where to store them, no matter how much I want to.

Living overseas and being a book lover isn’t the same!

Do you live abroad? Do you find it hard being a bookworm overseas too?

Always,
Jordon

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12 responses to “The struggle of being a bookworm & living abroad

    • I haven’t actually seen any tours of authors that I really like here. I feel like I haven’t been paying too much attention though, so I should really look up the UK publishers to keep an eye out for author tours.

      I really do love London, despite it’s downfalls of lack of sun and warm weather, and not being able to own books. London is just such an amazing city!
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  1. I can relate to this feelings so well!

    I went on my Year Abroad last year and I found it such a struggle to use the libraries, I hated that I couldn’t have too many books with me at any one time, and I also had the problem of English translations not being readily available.

    I definitely prefer the library system in the UK, but I agree that there’s still a big problem in terms of new releases; there are so many that I’m currently in the queue for but there seems to be only one copy going around?! For a brand new anticipated release! That seems crazy to me.
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    • Oh gosh, I can imagine it would be hard to find english copies of the books in a non-english speaking country!

      Eek at least your library has the new release! The library chain that I’m closest too literally doesn’t have a SINGLE new release! In fact I’m pretty sure the YA selection isn’t really available. It’s so frustrating 🙁 Also the YA section is in the Children’s section, which is weird to me lol. I feel like the libraries need to rejig their genre’s.
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  2. You know what’s the worst thing? That I feel so bad now! It always gets me down that I can’t buy books as easily as others. There are no B&N in my country, and the other bookstores have a very limited amount of YA books in english, and then, new releases. And then there’s shopping online -> SUPER HIGH shipping rates. And I complain about this constantly. Because BOOKSSS.

    But this humbled me in some BIG ways. Because while I can’t have all these things, I must appreciate the things I DO have. Maybe I can’t hoard as many books as I can, but at least I can do it in some measure, super SLOWLLLY.

    I’m so sorry you go through this 🙁 For all these reason I can entirely commiserate to reading mostly ebooks too! As much as I’d like to have them all harcovers, ebooks get me the story fast!
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    • Arghh yes that must be so frustrating! Does The Book Depository do free shipping to your country? When I do buy books online I usually buy it off of The Book Depository. That’s really nice that you appreciate what you do have etc.

      I think when I buy a house and settle down, in whatever country that will be, I will definitely buy my favourite books I’ve read over the years and have a mini library! I also want to do the letterbox library thing on my front yard, which means I need to get a house with an accessible front yard lol.

      And then all the people around where I live may read books they wouldn’t usually be able to read 😀
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      • That would be awesome! I’ve seen pics of those mini libraries going around and I always get so happy when I see them!

        And nope, TBD doesn’t ship to my coutry for free :/ When I can, I make the books ship to my mom who lives in the US, and then she brings them when she comes to visit, but that’s just once a year XD I have to make do. But when she does bring the books it’s PARTY TIME. Right now, I’m so excited because she is going to come in December and bring me Crooked Kingdom, and The Love that Split the World!
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        • Me too! I really love the idea of the mini yard libraries. And they can look so cool and creative 😀

          AW no, that sucks so much that it doesn’t ship free to your country! What country do you live in?

          Well that’s nice of your mum, if only it was more than once a year haha. Eek I still need to start Six of Crows! I haven’t ye finished the Grisha series though, sooo I’m waiting until I get around to doing that…
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    • I can imagine it would be frustrating not being able to get the bookish accessories and what not, and barely being able to go to author signings simply because they aren’t going to visit your country.

      I’m definitely glad that I’m able to get all of the books as an ebook. I remember as a kid it was only the library i had access to, so I would go there every week and check out as many books as I could carry. And most of the really good YA books were on hold with a list. But I was glad that the library was up to date and I had options.
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  3. Holy cow, your flat is smaller than my college dorm was! Granted I lived in a nice dorm lol, but I just can’t imagine sharing one mini fridge among three people. But that so sucks that you had to get rid of all your books :-/ I can definitely see why you’re not buying any while you’re there though.

    I was going to suggest borrowing ebooks from the library in case you hadn’t thought of that, but then you mentioned that you did that in NZ, so I guess that means you can’t from your current library? That’s a bummer too. But hey, if you like living in London right now, then I imagine it’s worth the sacrifices, and like you said, you can always buy the books you want in the future 🙂
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    • Haha it’s horrible! Well I mean I actually really enjoy it because this flat is so cute and my flatmates are really nice. And to be honest it’s a two bedroom flat, I room share with a friend. So the flat is made for only two people! But it’s so sad that I have no where to put books 🙁 However I guess it’s more than just having somewhere to put them because it’s also how will I transport them all the way across the world when I have to leave this country 🙁

      Yeah, the library chain nearest my house doesn’t have the option of ebooks. I feel like I want to take over the library system here and implement new ideas and strategies to get people taking advantage of it more! It’s so confusing to me!

      I definitely can’t fault my decision to live in London, making these sacrifices will be worth it. And yeah, I can definitely buy my favourite books later in life!
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