I love reading and pretty much always have. Its probably because I grew up in a home where reading was encouraged and valued. My mom is a librarian so we always had books in the house and received them as gifts for birthdays and holidays and I even worked at the library for a couple years during high school. To me, there are few things better than a good book and in Peace Corps, there is more than enough time to get some serious binge reading in.
Now I know that not all people are avid readers like I am but in America, reading for fun is “a thing.” Nobody looks at you funny when they ask you what like to do and you respond, “I
like to read.” And when you’re reading a book around your friends, family, or coworkers nobody ever asks you, “Why are you reading?” Culturally, most Americans understand that it’s something that some people like to do for the pure enjoyment of it. However in Peru, its quite the opposite. People will look at you funny if you tell them you like to read and they will ask you why you have that book in your hand. And although the overwhelming majority of Peruvians are literate, reading as a hobby is certainly not “a thing.”
As far as I know, the vast majority of towns do not have libraries and I’ve only ever seen two both of which were both located in Lima. According to the Regional Center for the Promotion of Books in Latin America and the Caribbean (CERLAC), Peru is only second to Mexico as it pertains to lectura with 70% of the population reading only out of necessity and not for enjoyment.
Sigh… Makes my little reading heart sad really. So in the spirit of trying to spread the gospel of reading as a form of enriching entertainment and me finishing a little over half of my 27 months here in Peru, here are all the books I’ve read from training until now.
Get Your Life Right and Read These Books:
Don’t Even Waste Your Time:
If You Have a Non-Fiction Predilection:
Not Must Reads But Still Great Reads:
*Just FYI, most of these books are historical fiction because I’m a history nerd so i that’s not your thing this list really probably is a no go for you.