Just read more diversely.
Okay, I make it sound easy – and that’s because it is. I promise I’m not trying to sound patronising or anything, but I just wanted to address something that I see a lot around the bookish community (which is a lovely community by the way!)
There’s this mentality that I see a lot that finding something diverse to read is hard, or that you have to go out of your way to do it. I promise, the way I see it at least, it’s not like that at all.
I’ve been reading a lot more diversely than before nowadays. When I sat down and told myself I was going to do that I thought it was going to be hard. I enjoyed all of those mainstream, hugely advertised books and it had never occurred to me that the diversity in a lot of the books I read was a little lax. And there’s nothing wrong with reading those books at all! I still do! By no means am I saying it is wrong to enjoy a book with a lack of diversity – but I guarantee you there’s probably an equally amazing diverse book out there.
For me the things that did help to push me along, to begin with, were probably:
- Google! Although a lot of my searches for specific things were fruitless I was still able to find a lot!
- Finding some diverse book blogs – my favourite blog at the moment, in general, is The Book Avid, she is an amazing reviewer and has really good recommendations.
- Using social media to my advantage – this was unexpectedly helpful! I was struggling to find a book where the MC is also a wheelchair user but also had a plotline that intrigued me. After posting about it (I think on Instagram) I finally found a book which I plan on reading soon!
- Taking part in events like #DiversityBing2017 and Read Diverse 2017 they’re honestly great for motivation!
- Not reading books just for the diversity. I did this a few times and ended up disliking the books and I gave them pretty low ratings, which doesn’t help to support marginalised authors at all. Please make sure you’re actually interested in the plot as well!
- Looking for books with both diverse MC’s and authors!
So, those were a few things I did to improve the diversity in the books I read! I’m also aiming for 75% of the books I read this year to have at least 1 character or aspect of diversity in them – and soon I’ll be going for 100%!