In 2012 I read almost twice as many books by men as women, and in 2013 I wanted to change that. But my approach was kind of lazy. I didn’t actually do much to seek out books by women. I kind of forgot my mission, and just read whatever I found interesting, so I was a little worried about what I’d find.
In 2013 I read 171 books, 81 books written or edited by women, and 90 written or edited by men, 47% and 53% respectively. A heck of a lot better than the 35% I discovered last year, but still not balanced.
I read a lot more poetry (47) than fiction (22) in 2013, and of those, 62% of the poetry was written by women, and 55% of the fiction. It’s encouraging to see improvement here. I read more literary criticism and books on writing by women than I did previously, though this still accounts for only 42%. (NB: Still looking for recommendations for great critics – women or men.)
Last year I only read one graphic novel by a woman, this year I read 16. ((Ok, boosted by reading a lot of Sailor Moon manga, but hey, it’s a start.)) My graphic novel count (58) overall was way up. I was juggling two jobs while in school part-time, and graphic novels are my candy. I love them, but even the best tends to be comparatively light reading. I’m not surprised by the increase.
Of the books I read last year, 24 were for review, interview or other books coverage, which is a record for me. One I’m already set to beat, as I’ve already read three books for review this January. Of those, 16 were written or edited by women. ((I think a part of this is because I recently started doing books coverage for She Does the City, and the focus tends to be female-centric, naturally.))
I’m getting closer to overall parity, but obviously I need to do more – and be concious about it. I’m noticing that a lot of what I read and cover is predominately by white authors, and that’s something that needs to change as well.
As always, I love recommendations. Read anything good lately?