Statistics revisited

Earlier this year, I did a quick tally of my shelves by author and was dismayed to realize that while I generally thought of my reading tastes as omnivorous, my list of writers of color and LGBT authors was woefully thin. We’re not quite at the end of the year, but I’ve been making progress: Out of the 62 people I’ve read this year, I can count 37 male authors, 21 female, and 4 mixed/anthologies. I’ve read books by 14 writers of color (8 of whom were totally new to me) and 3 LGBT writers, and considering what-all’s in my to-read queue, those numbers may go up further by the end of the year.

Statistically, that means that while my male/female ratio has pretty much held steady at 60% and 34% (from 58% and 40% earlier this year), my proportion of non-white and non-straight authors has jumped from 8% to 26%, more than triple what it was. Still not amazing, but it’s a start. A lot of those books were by authors I had never tried before, and who really blew me away; for many of them, I read more than one book of theirs and am planning to read even more. And I think the effect is cumulative: when you enjoy an author, you go out and find more writers like them. I don’t like the thought that I’ve been missing out on amazing books because their authors get shelved in another part of the bookstore, and I’m glad to be actively working to change that.

ETA: Final tally for 2015
38 male writers: 56%
26 female writers: 38%
4 mixed/anthologies: 6%

18 writers of color: 27%
5 LGBT writers: 7%
45 white, straight, cis: 66%

Still a ways to go, but going from 8% to 34% for queer writers and writers of color in a year is definitely a step in the right direction.


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