Does anyone every look at their list of book they have read so far this year and think “that’s it?” or “this is such an uninteresting list” or “I don’t read that many diverse books or books by diverse authors”.
Because I do.
Don’t get me wrong, I love the Goodreads stats function, but they are good at showing my how narrow my reading scope is which is young adult fantasy. On one hand I don’t mind this. I’m a scientist that had to read a lot of heavy science to finish my degrees. Reading for me is something I do for pleasure. Not to extend my thinking or increase my vocabulary (my vocabulary sucks, I’m just used to it at this point) but to get lost for several hours in a fantasy story.
Many adults will say adults should not read YA but ‘real’ adult literature. But I say, why not? Not everyone reads for the same reasons. As I said, I read for pleasure and have found great pleasure in YA fantasy and my read list reflects this. It’s why many of the books are the same and not ‘diverse’ in subject matter. And I’m for the most part fine with this since I do on occasion put up books outside of YA and outside of fantasy to read.
Yet at the same time I feel this does not give me a pass for not reading more diverse authors or books with diverse characters. There is still a lack of diversity out there but publishers are starting to get the message that readers want diverse books. I admit, I think a large part of not reading from diverse authors is because I feel safe with the more well know authors, who are white. I recognize this is terrible and I need to expand the authors I read to not-white authors which will in turn increase the diversity of characters I read about.
Now is the best time to increase the diversity of the authors I read. The more readers demand diverse books the more diverse books with me made. I need to take an active role in reading diversely instead of the passive role I have been taking, which is arguably not a role at all.
Demand and read diverse books.