Reading More Diversely in 2017

5.pngI shared last week that one of my goals for 2017 is to read more diversely and this week I wanted to share what that means for me, why I’m doing it and how I plan to do that

What?

  • Last year, about 20% of the authors I read were people of color, 2% were men, 1% were in translation, 98% were from the United States. Woah. That is a LOT of white people from the United States.
  • This year I want to read 33% authors of color and at least 10% non-United States born authors. I also want to make an effort to read books from #ownvoices in the LGBTQ community and works in translation.

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Why?

  • What we read matters. I am a firm believer that reading has the power to change lives. It is a huge reason why I become a librarian. Having access to books that reflect the make up of society is extremely important to me, and over the past 2 years I realized it is time to put my money where my mouth is. If I want there to be more POC, LGBTQ, &  authors in translation represented in publishing I need to BUY those sorts of books. I need to support authors who write the types of books I want to read. Find out about why diverse books matter here from We Need Diverse Books.
  • Even though only 20% of the books I read were by POC, 55% of the books I rated 5/5 were by authors of color. Yup. (Full list of my 2016 favorites coming soon)
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How?

  • I’m taking the Book Riot Read Harder Challenge for the third year in a row. The challenge lists different types of books to read (ex. Read a book about war) with the hopes of helping you read outside of your comfort zone. Some of my favorite books over the past 2 years have been ones I discovered through doing this challenge.
  • Make sure every 3rd book I read is by an author of color. This is where I stumbled last year. I wanted to read more diverse authors, but when it came down to selecting my next books, I didn’t make a concerted effort. I just figured it would fall into place. This year, I’m doing it differently. I’m going to ensure that every 3rd book I pick up is by an author of color. Practically speaking, since I read 2-3 books at a time, I will always be reading a book by an author of color.
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