Sunday, June 19, 2011

#11... a Time to Read

June 20, 2011


LIKE:
I love to read.
In fact one of my favorite places to hang out is at a bookstore. 
I have spent MANY Saturday nights sitting on the floor of a Barnes and Noble (with a SB latte next to me, of course) reading the first pages of all the books I was planning to buy. (Does that sound ultra-cool or ultra-pathetic??!)


Anyway, I like, in fact, LOVE the fact that all American television shows that we see in Denmark are intact...meaning, they are STILL IN ENGLISH. You know, when McDreamy opens his mouth, it is really Patrick Dempsey speaking and not some German has-been actor saying McDreamy's lines in German. In fact I believe that this is one of the reasons that Danes are, by in large, comfortable with the English language; they have grown up hearing it on television (and learning it in school since the 3rd grade) so communicating in English is not completely foreign to them as is the case in so many other European countries. 




DISLIKE:
HOWEVER, knowing how much I love to read and how much I love to hang out in bookstores and how much the Danes are exposed to American television in English, I have one major complaint....
Unless you are in Copenhagen or Århus, the bookstores in Denmark do not carry books in English--unless you count the Danish-English dictionary which is HALF in English.....which I do NOT! 


I would love to go to Bog & Idé or Arnold Busk or whatever bookstore you have in your Danish town and just peruse the shelves and maybe even sit on the floor (freaking out the employees) and read a bit... and then my reading would lead to buying.... but there are no books for me to peruse. 


Yes, I read in Danish, but that is not my choice when it comes to pleasure reading. I read in Danish to learn...not to relax.


So how on earth can we get the book shops all over Denmark to catch up to the standard of the televisions?? We need literature in English! 

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

Most observations here are about superficial things, from the comfort category, beans, books (in English) inconvenient weather...

PiNG aka Patti said...

I have spotted some Bog & Ide book stores with an English section, but it was a very very small section if I remember correctly!

As for the 'superficial' comment - daily life is all about the small conveniences and inconveniences we face living in a foreign country. I wouldn't call the daily challenges of life superficial.

Megan said...

i understand exactly what you're saying. even though you can read danish, if you're choosing to read a book in danish, it is more for learning, and not because you can get as "into" the book emotionally...let's face it...it is that way with most languages that are not your native. i hope they start to carry some more :-) if they randomly have them in bergen ill send you down some :)

Anonymous said...

You can't be serious! - 'daily life, conveniences, inconveniences, + foreign country', when you are chasing around looking for English books, food from the home country, etc!

May said...

I am not sure what you are getting upset about, Anonymous?

You can complain about topics in articles of national or international newspapers etc., but this is a private blog. The owner can write whatever she wants: a day by day account of what she had for breakfast, the number of tiles in her bathroom, how long it took for her newly painted fence to dry etc. Reading posts about paint drying might not be terribly interesting to the rest of us, but then we are free not to read. Private bloggers don't really owe the general public anything.

Anonymous said...

OK, Its been a long time since my last visit to Herning, but I do visit other similar (or smaller towns) and the bookstores there all have a section with books in english. yes its mostly bestsellers or the books that have been hyped on Oprah or the latest Harry Potter, but they are there. And why not use the online bookstores (saxo, elounge or mighty amazon) Its cheaper (have a look at bogpriser.dk) But sadly the don´t have coffee ;-)

Annarella said...

Have you tried the library? I'm sure they have a little section with English books in the Herning Library, and if you can't find anything interesting there, just tell them what book you want, and they will order it for you.. for FREE. Any book you can imagine. And then you can take it home and have several weeks to read it.

I have a Barnes and Noble within walking distance from my home, but I never go there because if I find a book I like, I have to BUY it. :-( Then when I'm done reading it I have to donate the book or sell it on Amazon, which is too much work/waste of money just to read a book. When I lived in Denmark I used to go to the library every month, and pick a big stack of books I could take home with me and read.

I don't understand why some people need to own and display hundreds of books and DVDs in their home. To me it is just clutter. If you want to read a book or watch a movie more than once, then why don't you just borrow it from the library/Netflix more than once? :-)

Amy said...

Most of the book stores I have been in Norway have a small English section. I found though that if I asked them, they could order me whatever book I wanted in English!! Which is great if I don´t want to go through Amazon, which is where I usually get my English books. Maybe you should ask if they can order books for you??

Have you read a Danish novel yet? I haven´t read a Norwegian one yet...pretty much just magazines in Norwegian for me so far...hehehehe, but I guess if I get into school this fall I will be reading a lot more Norwegian then I actually prefer ;-)))

Kirstin said...

You grabbed the words right out of my head, Kelli.

YES.

Thus my annual fortune spent on amazon.com/.uk. Psh.

Anonymous said...

Try your library.

Megan said...

Well said May. I'm all for sharing opinions, but it disgusts me when someone can take the time out of their own lives to write such remarks....and anonymously if that. This blog is a way to share experiences, successes, and failures of living in a foreign land...and her writings help put many of us going through the same ordeals at a comfort and peace. The blog is NOT bashing any country, but is simply her opinions and findings while living as an American in Denmark. I'm not sure if this was gathered upon reading the entry, but it focuses on both the POSITIVE and NEGATIVE, so what's the problem here?? (Sorry Kelli I'm not starting drama on your blog I promise...just felt something had to be said!)

Nuno said...

May, it's a public blog. A private blog would have a password which invited readers use. You can't go public and expect only friends and family to comment.

Any comments that are below the belt, however, can simply not be published.

Mads and Kelli said...

Yes, our library has an awesome collection of books in English, but I am one of those that likes to BUY and KEEP books ! :-)

Anonymous said...

amazon.co.uk is where I get my books in English.
Danish is my native language, but I don't like reading translated books. If it's a well written book so much can be ruined by a bad translation.
And I agree on the 'BUY and KEEP books' thing. I think it should be a crime to throw books away ;-)

May said...

Anonymous, it's a public blog by a private person, and as such the author is not obliged to uphold any standards regarding topic.

May said...

EDIT: Obviously apart from breaking the law or blogspot's terms of use.

Lindsay said...

Ahhh...I miss bookstores so much (Chapters to be instead of B&N). There is a small English bookstore here, and to be a big complainer, but it just isn't the same. I love roaming around in all the different sections and looking at all the books. I must buy and keep books, and share them with everyone, so I know what you mean! I have a decent sized stash of English novels here Kelli, if we ever meet up, maybe we could do a little book swap (only temporary), that sounds fun to me! I am going to stock up too when I go home for a visit and bring back some goodies :)

Alex said...

Has this changed at all, as you get better in Danish? I'd be happy to send you English books you want a couple of times a year (I send bookswap books internationally for fun anyway). I'm a bibliophile X 10. 1500 books in this 400 sq. foot apartment, and if I'm studying abroad this year I'll need to get rid of most of them.