I don’t normally keep stats on a lot of my reading habits. On my yearly Excel spreadsheet, I keep track of the number of books and pages, genres, and the titles – all organized by month. I never bother with keeping track of the author’s gender or race because… ? I don’t know. I’m a big fan of reading whatever the hell I feel like, and that’s what I do.
BUT my most recent Top Ten Tuesday, in which I had to struggle to even list two favorite new-to-me female authors, made me kind of curious. So I went through my Excel file, and added a column for gender, and… the results are not good.
Now, it’s not technically the end of December, so let’s take a look at my numbers from January to November:
38 of the books I read were by female authors
77 of the books I read were by male authors
3 books were by both male and female co-authors
Now this doesn’t seem SO bad… until you take into account the fact that 8 of those books by female authors were Harry Potter re-reads, so technically just 1 female author for those 8 books. And there were a couple other books that were also by female authors I was already familiar with. So basically – no wonder by TTT list was full of dudes. I am not trying out enough female authors. I mean, I don’t necessarily want to read more female authors than male authors on average, but I’d be more comfortable if it was closer to 50/50 I guess.
The most recent BookRiot podcast made me start to wonder what my stats are for racial diversity. Oy.
Out of 118 books between January and November…
99 were by white people
4 were by Asian people
6 were by black or bi-racial people
4 were by Middle Eastern people
5 were by multiple authors, or by authors whose race wasn’t easily decided by a Google or Wikipedia search (I was doing this at like 11 last night, so I was a bit lazy there)
This upsets me WAY more than the gender thing… maybe because in some sort of weird way, racism bothers me more than sexism? I don’t know, but this is SHAMEFUL. I don’t intentionally seek out books by white dudes… but I’ve been seriously oblivious to the lack of diversity in my reading. And obviously that’s my own fault. I don’t know when that started happening – I feel like several years ago, my reading habits were a much better mixture of people of all colors. And I know for sure that I definitely read more lady authors a few years ago.
What makes even less sense in my head, is that I read such a CRAZY wide selection of genres. Fiction, humor, romance, sci-fi, fantasy, classics, non-fiction, YA – I’ll read practically anything. So it’s a little shocking that my list was so full of white dudes. UGH.
HELP ME, PEEPS.
I want to read more ladies, and more non-white people, in 2014. In general, I tend to gravitate towards sci-fi, fantasy, and humor – or really, my favorite is a mix of all three. And non-fiction has been my jam lately (actually, several of my Asian/Middle Eastern/Black author books were non-fiction, so yay there).
I could use your book recs, for real. ESPECIALLY in the non-white folks department. Pretty please?