The bookish community has undergone several changes in the past few years and one of the most important steps in the right direction is the push to publish more diverse books. Readers have been clamouring for more stories that represent the world as it is today with all its diverse glory. However, there is still a lot of work to be done here, which is what articles like the one on The Guardian that states only 1% of UK’s children’s books have BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) main characters show. With social media, it has become easier for publishers to gauge what their audience wants and yet we continue to see little to no improvement in the state of things. While there are multiple reasons why the status quo isn’t changing at the rate it’s supposed to, today I want to bring up one of the issues that is rarely addressed when it comes to diverse books and publishing.
Reading is a purely solitary activity and I find that it’s quite easy to stick to a comfortable, predictable pattern. I personally read a lot of fantasy and very rarely do I reach for other genres because I know my reading tastes well. However, I feel like there are so many other amazing books waiting to sneak into my “Favourites” shelf who don’t belong to the genre I read the most. 2019 is the year I’ve decided to take the plunge and challenge myself to read out of my comfort zone. In order to accomplish that, I did a bit of digging around on the Internet and settled on five wonderful reading challenges that I want to attempt. Every month from now I will be giving recommendations for each of the challenges I mention in this post. I hope my list inspires you to push beyond your limits as a reader too!
October was one of the worst months of my life, to be honest. Not in terms of the books I read or anything related to that but personally. I don’t have a lot of words to share but I’m dealing with some really traumatic personal stuff, so I’d really appreciate some distance and understanding at the moment. It made me reconsider many things, go on a short hiatus at the end of October and I’ve been struggling since to get my life back to normal. This wrap-up may not be as detailed or wordy as usual mostly because I’m in the mood for brevity. However, sharing my love for books makes me feel marginally better, so I decided to write this post despite everything. With that sombre introduction out of the way, let me talk about the reading month I had and what I’m looking forward to in November.
It seems like the people of the book blogosphere have been noticing my existence off-late. I have been tagged by the lovely Kate from The Backwards Bookshelf for this tag. I would strongly encourage you to check out her blog because she’s an amazing blogger from Philippines who reads and reviews a lot of diverse and #ownvoices books. This tag features a bunch of questions where I reveal shocking truths about my bookish life and then tag my friends so I can get them to confess too. Since I’m an impatient person every time someone mentions the word ‘secrets’ around me, I’m going to spare you the wait and get right to it!
I know I complain a lot about how busy my life is, but I somehow manage to scroll through social media even on the days I have no time to breathe. I’m sure it’s the same for everyone else out there too. If you enjoy books, you can definitely find like-minded people just about on any platform, but the most interactive ones (to the best of my knowledge) happen to be Twitter and Instagram. While it is very simple to express an opinion and have the entire world pay attention to what you have to say, I for one am not a fan of putting forth every thought to cross your mind on public display. I don’t tweet or post often on social media, but watching from the sidelines has taught me a lot about what to say, what not to say and how to get your message across effectively. I decided to share my learnings with you all here today and I hope you take away some valuable lessons as well.