Tracking My Year In Reading
Do y’all track your reading? 2017 was the first year I started tracking my reading beyond what Goodreads offers. The main way I do this is with a Google spreadsheet (I used this one from Book Riot as the base, and here’s the 2018 version). I wanted to make sure—beyond just a feeling that I was doing well—that I was reading more than just white dudes. In 2016, I decided to do a year without cis white dudes in my reading, and that was pretty great, to be honest. But for 2017, I wanted to make sure I wasn’t simply replacing them exclusively with cis white women.
It’s hard to overstate just how much this has changed my reading habits.
In library school, we talk a lot about books as windows, mirrors, and sliding-glass doors, meaning they can show you a glimpse of other worlds and experiences, allow you to step through into those worlds and experiences, or reflect your own experience. It’s important for everyone to get all three, but marginalized folks get fewer mirrors than those with privilege. So, reading more books by women, queer folx, people of color, and other communities underserved by the publishing industry is crucial and important to me both as a future librarian and as a current human.
So, then, how did I do?
In 2017, I read 138 books, which is more than my goal of 104 (and not too shabby, considering how much reading I do for grad school). I read more than 33,000 pages and listened to more than 100 hours of audiobooks. I read 89 books by women authors and 49 by men. Of those 49 books by male authors, 22 were by men of color. I read 62 books by authors of color and 13 by queer authors (though this could be low; it’s not always easy to determine this).
While I generally did pretty well diversifying my reading, one area where I read nearly all white authors (albeit women authors) was in Romance. So this year, I want at least half of the Romance I read to be by women of color. I’ve already got a few on the docket (like “A Princess in Theory” by Alyssa Cole, which looks amazing), but I can always use more recs!
All in all, I read a lot of great books in 2017. Choosing to increase the diversity in my reading life has made it better, without question. It’s also made me more unwilling to tolerate books without well rounded and diverse characters (I’m looking at you, “The Name of the Wind”).
But I know what you’re here for. You want recommendations. I have loved too many books in 2017, so you’ll just have to wait until next time (because I will need all of that time to pare down my list). In the meantime, here are a few Pancake Sex Book Clubs featuring books I loved last year!