Sunday, January 04, 2015

Looking Back at 2014 and Diversity

My final tally for books read in 2014 was 96! I hope I didn't forget to add any books to my totals, but it's entirely possible. As I mentioned in a previous post, I chose to count single-issue comics in that count simply because it's easy and I'm lazy, so that inflated the numbers a bit, but who cares.

Out of the 96 stories I read, 29% of those were by diverse authors or creators. I was shooting for 25% so I slightly surpassed my initial goal! In the case of comics, I considered writers and illustrators in my count so that was some additional opportunity for diversity.

29% is a vast improvement over 2013 when I only read a handful of diverse authors or authors of color. BUT, I know I can still do better. I'm hoping to achieve 40% diverse reading in 2015. Think I can do it? I certainly hope so. Diverse authors and their perspectives are enriching to my reading, and I want to support the inclusiveness of publishing in general.

I know a lot of folks have included diversity goals in their own reading. If you considered this aspect of your reading in 2014, how did you do? 

43 comments:

  1. Congrats on achieving your goals! pretty good since you kept saying you'd had a slumpy reading reading year!

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    1. Thanks, Sarah! I know. I feel bad for harping on the slumptitude because it wasn't REALLY a slump...I just had a hard time sticking with the things I picked up a lot of the time. That's so annoying!

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  2. First, I'm reading at 4:30am and totally want cupcakes for breakfast. Two, I'm inspired to add more WoC to my 2015 To-Read list--so yeah! Last and this may sound self-promoting but it's only half that. As a woman of a particular age...I think reading from people not in their glorious 20's + 30's could also be considered 'diverse' if perspective is what diversity is all about, yes?

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    1. Ahhh, cupcakes! I want cupcakes all the time. lol And I agree with you that age can certainly be included in that idea of diversity! Great point.

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  3. 29% is so good! I'm hoping to get somewhere close to (or above) that for 2015. I had diversity as one of my reading goals in 2014 and definitely did better than I did in 2013, when I only tracked it for part of the year...so I think just being aware is helpful.

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    1. Thanks, Shannon! Being aware is half the battle for me. And I have plenty of diverse reading on my TBR to choose from. Easy peasy!

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  4. I definitely hope to read more diversely this year, not just in race, but all kinds of diversity!

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    1. Amanda, amen! I typically do well in gender diversity, thought I'd like more LBGTQ in the mix for sure. I also read across genres so I don't have to pay much attention to that one for it to happen. I find that when I don't make a point to read racial or ethnically diverse books I ended reading white people because there are SO MANY of their books on the market. Amanda from Book Riot made a point that we read what we're sold a lot of the time, and I certainly want to be a more thoughtful consumer. Reading internationally is a big one for me, too, outside of color.

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  5. That's great, Andi - both in numbers and diversity! Don't think I did all that well with diversity this year.

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  6. I always have a problem deciding what counts towards a total: comics? short stories?. Or for example, if I were to count children's books I read to Madison, I would have some really big numbers. I tend to count everything but the children's books.

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    1. It's tough, but I think we just have to go with what's most maintainable for us personally. I don't want to lose track of the comics I read, but I'm not keeping a separate list, so voila! Done! lol

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  7. I don't track diversity but off the top of my head I am sure I could do a lot better. Good for you for surpassing your goal!

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  8. I didn't keep count in 2014 -- but I will in 2015 because I signed up for the Diversity on the Shelf challenge at My Little Pocketbooks. Good for you for surpassing your goal!

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    1. Oh cool! I need to check that one out. Since I'm doing it anyway, why not be a part of something!

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  9. I'm rooting for you on your goals. I didn't do so great last year when it came to diversity, but I plan on changing that. Good luck!

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    1. Thank you! It's been a really amazing challenge, and I'm stoked to dig into it more in 2015. Can't wait! So much to think about.

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  10. I didn't count either. I'm not even sure I set goals. Just meandering through my reading. Kudos on the diversity. I wondering how you defined that criteria.(May sound like a stupid thought but it seems to me that diversity can mean different things to different people).

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    1. Not a stupid thought at all! I tried to keep it fairly simple: ethnic and racial diversity, international authors (and/or books in translation). Also, religious affiliation and sexual orientation of authors. I didn't take book content into account...just how I identified the creators.

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  11. I didn't track diversity of color but for gender 78% of the books I read were by women.

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    1. I'm right there with you. I read scads more female authors.

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  12. I always try to read widely, with books written by people who come from different worlds than I do. I've never tracked that, though.

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    1. It's interesting to track. When I read simply by the plots I'm interested in or the books I have on hand or see buzzed about, I end up with mostly white American or British authors. I think that's largely because they're so widely published...moreso than some of these more diverse authors.

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  13. I'm really looking forward to everyone's diversity goals come the end of this year! I feel like we're going to have such good recommendations!!! My goal for 2015 is 50%.

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    1. Yes we are! So exciting! I may bump mine up to 50. What's 10%, right? lol

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  14. I am completely with you on reading more diversely this year. My first approach was to just plan my reading and hunt for diverse books, but that tired me out soon. This year I hope to surround myself with more diverse books and that way read more diverse books. Let's see how it happens. Good luck with you goals!!

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    1. I like that idea of surrounding ourselves with diverse books. It definitely makes it more accessible and doable!

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  15. I did a quick calculation and although I tend to read female authors (90%,) I only read 6% of authors who are "non-White." I'm making an effort to increase that percentage for 2015. I am also seeing several other book bloggers making this same effort and hopefully we can make some great suggestions to each other.

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    1. This is definitely a growing trend for readers to try to diversify, and I love it! Such a great dialogue. I read tons of female authors, but until 2014 I'd done miserably in the "non white" department.

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  16. Great reading year! I'm finally going to track my stats in 2015 and I'm hoping to figure out exactly where I clock in on the diversity side of things.

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  17. Way to go, and hooray for reading so many stories!

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    1. Thank you! Cheers to more stories in 2015!

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  18. I need to check on my diversity stats. I think I did okay overall, some non-fiction, some fantasy, a couple of classics. I think where I didn't do so well with is reading more African and Japanese fiction, which I wanted to.

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    1. I tend to read across genres readily, so I was looking more at ethnic and racial diversity, international authors, books in translation, etc. Those are the areas I struggle because those books and authors are far less buzzed.

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  19. Awesome that you surpassed your goal! I bet you can reach 40% this year :)

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    1. Thank youuuuu! I'm so tempted to bump it even higher. We'll see how it shakes out!

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  20. Hooray for you, Andi! 40% is TOTALLY doable, especially as you read across such a wide variety of genres. That definitely makes it easier. I'm so excited by everyone's diversity goals. The more we surround ourselves with people who read diversely, the more books we'll have on our radar to read going forward, and the easier it will be to hit our goals. Hurrah!

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    1. I just emailed you because I have THOUGHTS. lol

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  21. 29% is a great improvement! Only 15% of the books I read last year were by diverse authors, which was just a few percentage points more than in 2013. I'm aiming for about 20-25% this year. Baby steps!

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  22. Thirty of the books I read this year had diverse authors or main characters-pretty good percentage out of a total of Seventy-seven books for the year.I think that's about 39%. It would be cool to get to 50% for next year. The best book I read this year was Jesmyn Ward's Men We Reaped.

    Diversity is definitely one of my goals for 2015. I'm not going to focus so much on number of books read; I want to read long books, and will be sooo tempted to read novellas and shorter books to meet my *quota* otherwise. However, novellas are pretty cool too!

    Hope you have a fabulous, diverse, comic-filled 2015!

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  23. What you're saying is completely true. I know that everybody must say the same thing, but I just think that you put it in a way that everyone can understand. I'm sure you'll reach so many people with what you've got to say.

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