Wednesday, November 30, 2016

A Reading Story

I've spent a lot of time thinking about my reading habits as the end of year lists begin forming and due dates for them approach. And...I'm not thrilled with how I've done this year.

Read: 110 works
7 graphic novels
3 picture books
16 romance novels
5 non-fiction works
8 adult novels
3 (completed) books for school
67 YA novels
1 short story

I DNFed 12 of those books. And while that all seems like it's pretty good, the real problem is how white my reading list was.

Of all the books I read, only 16 were about PoC and only 11 were by PoC - that's not a great ratio. I also only read 13 books about queer people. There was also really little diversity beyond that - neurodiversity, fat people, disabled people - they were all pretty minimal. It didn't feel like it because there were quite a few books with really diverse, well built casts, but that's still...not great.

So, I want to be more aware of what and who I'm reading. For the rest of 2016, I do want to focus on marginalized authors and characters, but I also need to work on 2016 books for the sake of end of year lists, so I'm going to try to find a balance in there. I hope to read Fate of Flames, When the Moon was Ours, Spindle, Outrun the Moon, Seven Ways We Lie, Enter Title Hear, You Know Me Well, Beast, A Fierce and Subtle Poison, This is Where the World Ends, Stealing Snow, Symptoms of Being Human - just some of the books on my TBR that I haven't gotten to yet this year.

And in 2017? I want to do even better. I want at least 50% of what I read to be by/about marginalized people. I want to limit myself to no more than 12 books by men, one per month - admittedly, a pretty easy part of the challenge since I only read 4 books by men this year, and 2 of them were for school. But again, I want to try to make sure those books are largely by/about marginalized men (or about women, tbh). I want to put my reading where my mouth is - what kind of diversity advocate am I if I'm not actually putting my reading list - and my wallet - where my mouth is?

I do have a small caveat in that I hope to find work in publishing in 2017, and therefore will have required work reading and I am a freelance editor and I take the jobs I can get. Therefore, this challenge only extends to my personal reading; if it's for work, it doesn't count.

This is where I leave you. I will do monthly updates about what I've read and keep up my count. Sometimes I'll talk about specific books or other bookish topics, but I'm not really planning to officially review anything. This is just for me to monitor myself. Feel free to tag along and make your own personal reading goals.