Friday, January 24, 2014

reading diversely

Or an alternate title to this post could be - wow I should really try to read more diversely - because my last three reading year sucked on this front.

So as a preface to my stats of my reading year in this aspect I would like to say I have been watching a couple of different booktubers (ex.mothereffingbooks, and Rinceyreads) and they have talked about how they read books predominately by white authors. Curious about my own stats in this area I decided to look about how the races break down in the books I read in the last couple of years. Since I have only being keeping track of what I have read since 2011 on goodreads, I will only be able to compile to data from 2011-2013. While this is overall not a large chuck of all my reading, it is what I have data on, even still you will see the trends through the past three years are relatively unchanged and it is likely that my previous reading years before showed similar patterns.

Total books read: 40
Female authors 15 (37.5%)
Male authors 25 (62.5%)

Asian authors: 9 (22.5%)
White authors: 26 (65%)
Unknown/insufficient data: 5 (12.5%)

This year had a lot of asian and white authors, however it did not have much else, this year I was into a lot of manga and contemporary fiction.  

Total books read: 42
Female authors: 20 (48%)
Male authors: 22 (52%)

Asian authors : 2 (5%)
African American : 1 (2%)
White: 34 (81%)
Unknown: 5 (12%)

This year I had more categories than two, however I was reading basically predominately by a large margin, (if we disregard unknown as a category as it is mostly there so the number makes sense and nothing can really be drawn from the unknown) I read 16 times more white authors than the next category by number read (asian).  Clearly this year I did not read very diversely, however I did read a more equal number of female to male authors than the last year.

Total books read: 65
Female authors:32 (49%)
Male authors: 33 (51%)

Asian authors : 2 (3%)
African American: 1* (1.5%)
Hispanic: 1 (1.5%)
First Nation : 1 (1.5%)
Persian: 2 (3%)
White: 56* (86%)
Unknown: 3  (5%)

* NB: The author in this category mention is Howard Griffin the author of the non-fiction piece "Black Like Me", he is white, however he dyed himself black in order to get an "insider" look of how african american's were treated in the 1960's, because he is white by race I placed a tick in the white category, but because that book was mainly about his events he witnessed in his black outwards apperence, I placed a tick in the african american category, however, this is contestable since he is not actually a black author.

This year my reading had even more different categories, which is a step in the right direction, however, even still the majority of my books were focused on white authors again. I hope to contuine the trend of reading more diversely in the number of different races that I read - but I would also like to read more books by authors that are not white.

This video really covers a lot of the points about why I feel reading diversely is something I should try to do :

While she does admit that she does not have any actual stats on whether white authors are being displayed more often and therefore if one wanted to they could disregard that argument due to a lack of proof, I think that ultimately I cannot lost anything from reading more diversely, and I hope this will enrich my reading experience. 

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