Well, my target has been reached with a few days to spare in 2016. In my last post way back in the summer, I reviewed my goal of making sure at least 50% of the books I read in 2016 were by BAME (Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic) authors. I also pledged to read more by male authors, although I said I’d be happy with a 60%/40% female/male split. Here are my reading stats for 2016:
Total books read: 42
‘BAME’ books: 53%
Books by women: 58%
Books by men: 42%
Every week we are bombarded with messages and reviews of new books and authors who are described as ‘stunning new voices’ (substitute the adjective to suit the genre) and yet still, publishing seems to champion the white, middle-class, western authors. They are of course, are more marketable, more commercially viable because the vast majority of regular readers are white, middle-class westerners who prefer to stay within their comfort zone when reading fiction for entertainment purposes. Well, I’m sorry, but I’m a little bored by the publishing business’s tactics and have just enjoyed my best reading year ever thanks to consciously ‘going diverse’.
So what’s in store for 2017? Well, my pledge for the coming year is to read more translated books. Is 50% too high a target? I don’t think so, and I’m going for it. Please do leave a comment if you can recommend any great books in translation and I look forward to sharing some of my discoveries and ‘stunning new voices’ with you in 2017.
Happy New Year and Happy Reading!