I realized that I really haven’t talked about what it’s like for a reader and book blogger like me to move from Manila to Singapore. I thought it would be a good idea to spend some time on that topic. One of the biggest advantages to moving to Singapore is I now have access to a good public library. I’ve never had that before and I keep taking advantage of the fact by borrowing books that I’m interested in even though I don’t have the time to read them. I keep returning unread books. I used to go to the library every weekend and I would put up a book haul post of what I borrowed but I’ve stopped doing that because I don’t always end up reading the books that I mention. Also, the Singapore Public Library is active on both Twitter and Instagram so it’s a lot of fun to connect with them over there.
The downside is that books in Singapore are a lot more expensive than books in Manila. I don’t know why that’s the case because the editions are the same – some are US editions while some are UK editions. It’s not like in Australia where they publish local editions for the books. I think the prices are on par with Aussie book prices though: about SGD 25-50 (PHP 825-1,650, USD 20-40) for trade paperbacks and hardcovers while about SGD 15-30 (PHP 495-990, USD 12-24) for mass market paperbacks. I miss being able to afford books. When I was in Manila, I would regularly visit Fully Booked to buy books whenever there was something that I wanted. Or I’d drop by the store while they’re having a sale because 20% off books is a good deal. Here in Singapore, I do wait for bookstores to go on sale but even with discounted prices, books are still cheaper in online sites like the Book Depository. This is why I splurge and buy books like crazy whenever I go home. Also, I keep grabbing books off my own bookshelf back home. I try to squeeze in as many unread books that I can in my luggage.
Aside from book prices, I also miss hanging out and chatting about books in person with fellow Filipino Book Bloggers. Book bloggers and readers are active about discussing books back home in Manila. I haven’t had a chance to meet Singaporean book bloggers or readers yet. I do chat with Liyana of LiyanaLand on Twitter from time to time and I hope we can eventually meet in person. Although now that I think about it, work keeps me busy and there’s usually something that I have to take care of during week nights and weekends so I’m not sure if I could participate as actively in the real life bookish scene as I did before. The rarity of my posts here on the blog is proof enough that I don’t get to read and blog as often as I’d like.
These are the major changes that come to mind when I think about my move. What about you, have you had to make adjustments as a reader and a blogger when you move from one place to another?