Before I get into this, I want to establish a few things. Firstly, I am very fortunate to live the life that I live. I have always generally felt safe in my country (for those who don’t know, I live in Canada). I have always felt as if I have equal rights as a female. Sometimes I have even felt as if I am treated (unjustly) better than my male peers. I am also white, so I have never been discriminated against for my race. I have always had a roof over my head and food to eat. Sure I’ve had my problems. I have depression, and my home life has never been great for someone in my mental state. I’ve also been bullied and I’ve never felt safe at school because of it, but in the long run, my mess of emotional scars called a brain is pretty minor. There are people who are much worse off than me. I say this before I get into what I’m about to get into in case this discussion comes off the wrong way. I am truly grateful for what I have, but there has always been something that as an international book lover frustrated me.
If you live in the US, you will likely never know how much power the phrase U.S. Only holds. On bad days, it completely controls my mental state. On good days, it fills me with frustration. As a Canadian book lover, those words make me feel like I am getting ¼ of the experience on a daily basis. I feel left out.
Don’t get me wrong, I understand why it has to be this way. Shipping is ridiculously expensive here. My family has had to pay well over $10 just to ship a $2 item. My brain gets all of this, but my heart doesn’t, and that’s the issue.
Where I live, I’m further south than some of the US, meaning I’m relatively close to the US. I also live slightly over 2 hours away from the “great” city of Toronto, one of the few cities authors actually visit if they come here at all. I am fortunate again, because while I once had to get on a train to my aunt’s house at 5 am to go to a 2 pm signing an hour away from her house, I can only imagine what it’s like for the girl sitting in Nunavut. Canada is also occasionally (thought far more rarely than it was a year ago) included in pre-order campaigns and giveaways. What about the girl sitting in South Africa who desperately wants a chance to win *insert title here*?
I’m just frustrated. I get that it can’t be fair, but is it bad to hope for it to be?
What does the phrase U.S. Only mean to you as a book lover? If you live outside of the US, how do you stop from feeling disappointed when you country isn’t included? Please discuss this in the comments. I really want to hear your thoughts. Also, please tell me if this came off as whinny. I want to know so I can improve and possibly do more discussions in the future.