You know those moments when another blogger takes time to comment on your blog, so you head over to their blog for a look around and an hour or so later you’re still looking around? That happened to me this morning with Weezelle’s Penguin Edition blog.
I have ambitions with this blog, but I’m only a month or so in, and still thinking about what I want it to be. Originally, I was inspired by The Reader’s Room, which has become an important online community for me. I don’t have time to join a book club out there in the world of breathing the same air as others, and The Reader’s Room has filled that gap for me with its thoughtful reviews, its encouragement of discussion and its fun reading challenges. And now I’m inspired by the Penguin Edition for similar reasons.
I’m starting to think that I want this blog to be a space where I not only do a brain dump of my book thoughts, but where the people who follow this blog feel free to share their book thought brain dumps too, and where I might be able to interact with and promote authors, bookshops, other interesting readers. That’s a long way off yet, though.
Anyway, my new challenge. Weezelle’s post about the Stella Award in Australia set me thinking. It feels like I read a lot of books written by men, and that a lot of my favourite authors are men. LibraryThing tells me that over all the authors in my catalogue, 66.3% are male. Nothing wrong with that, of course, but as a feminist it feels like I should be reading more books written by women. Because little drops of water combine to make a river, and maybe if I add more little drops to the demand interface, those capitalist publishers might add more women writers to the supply interface. My aim for the rest of this year is to ensure I read at least one book written by a woman every month and to try to make it a different woman’s work every month. Maybe even a not yet established woman writer’s work.
Now, I do love a statistic, so I’ve just checked my LibraryThing tag for ‘read in 2016‘. I’m actually doing better than I thought this year. I have an almost 50% split. In January I read books by 5 different women (out of 13 books read), in February 3 (out of 6), and this month 3 (out of 5). Out of all of those, only 2 were recent debuts, but 6 were by women I hadn’t previously read works by.
So, not a difficult challenge, but one that will make me think about my book choices in a different way.
And now I will step out of my comfort zone and ask: will you join me? Will you try to read at least one book by a woman author each month, or even this year? (I refer you to my About page for guidance on my preference for polite debate.)