I figured I should tell you (or whoever is EVENTUALLY going to visit my blog since I'm guessing no one is here now) about my brazilian background.
What I think you should know is mostly the one related to books, since that's what we're dealing with here: I'm not really considered normal for my fellow brazilians in general, you know, since I read.
Just recently there was a research that said brazilians read an average of almost 5 books A YEAR. So you can probably guess someone who reads more than 1 a week (on average) is not normal - and I'll tell you, I like not being normal.
Books in Brazil are more expensive than in the USA or most "developed" countries. Minimum monthly wage here is US$ 250,00 (or a bit more, due to the exchange rate) and books average on US$ 15,00. Public libraries are terrible, basically none has the latest releases (I still couldn't find Harry Potter at a library), so you can guess why brazilians don't read.
Also, the "cool" releases also take years to come here. You know Airhead, by Meg Cabot, right? Ok, when "Runaway" (Airhead #3) was released on the US, Airhead #1 was released here. "Being Nikki" (Airhead #2) will be released february 2011 and who knows when "Runaway" will get here. And it's MEG CABOT people, everyone knows she sells like water on a desert, no matter what, so no reason to wait and release 3 freaking years after the american release.
But we, book worms, find our ways. Giveaways by publishers are my favorites. Owning a book blog also helps. Buying abroad may help - Amazon, even with the shipping costs still goes to the same average price regular bookstores here sell for. And now the Book Depository is selling shipping free to Brazil - I see a major credit card debt to me.
I'll talk about brazilian authors one of these days, but's not pretty. We do what we can to help them, since no one else will...
Keep on reading!