For the better part of the last two years I’ve been trying to do better at reading diversely. I already knew I wanted to read more books by women, but I’ve been espousing this idea of reading diversely using the U.S. Census as a convenient backbone.
The most recently available figures in terms of ethnic/racial breakdwon are:
- 5.8% Asian
- 13.3% Black
- 17.8% Latinx/Hispanic (The U.S. Census notes that “Hispanics may be of any race” so are also counted in those applicable categories.)
- 1.3% Native American
I read 60 books in 2017, and here’s where I ended up:
- Books by Asian writers: 13%
- Books by Black writers: 10%
- Books by Latinx/Hispanic writers: 1.6%
- Books by Native American writers: 0%
Well. That’s not so good. On the one hand, I’m glad I managed to read widely in my own ethnic makeup, but I definitely missed the mark in terms of reading works by Hispanic writers or works by Native American writers. If I’m generous to myself, and I extend my query to the last 100 books I read, just to make it easier in terms of math, my percentage of books read by Black writers falls even further, to 8%, and even though I gain a Latinx/Hispanic writer, well, that still puts me at a miserable 2%, far, far below where I want to be.
This year I will hope to do better. This year I will read at least one book by a Native American writer. I’d been meaning to pick up the Sherman Alexie memoir, and my own publisher, who is Latina, has a book out too, so…all things I can get cracking on. You can add me as a friend to see what I’ve been reading lately.
What’s are your reading resolutions for 2018? Tell me in the comments below.
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