‘With something like books, we can’t be colour blind readers, because currently in most bookstores white authors take up more shelf space and, therefore, if you just go in and grab a book, you’ll likely pick one up from a white author.’ -- Elliot Chan
Elliot Chan has written this great blog post with his tips on how to diversify your reading list. We don’t want to take attention away from marginalised voices or claim that a more diverse reading list is an idea of our own, which is why we’ve kept this post relatively brief. We do, however, believe that more inclusive reading lists can be a great first step in understanding the experiences of all members of society and therefore contributing to a more empathetic and supportive world.
A diverse reading list includes authors of various ethnic, sexual and gender identities as well as class, nationality and disability backgrounds. You cannot tell all of this just from an author’s name on a book cover.
This means diversifying your reading will almost definitely require some extra effort. However, this should not be discouraging; it will take nowhere near as much extra effort as many of these authors will have had to exert just to be published in the first place.
It’s crucial, particularly for younger readers, that people see themselves represented in books and the media in general. By supporting authors who showcase stories of all backgrounds, children and adults alike will be able to live in a world where they feel increasingly more accepted by those around them. This may seem a little overwhelming at first, and that’s totally understandable. What’s important is that you’ve recognised the problem and that you’re willing to do something about it. To help get you started, we’ve put together some resources if you’re unsure of where to look: