Read Harder Redux, 2017 Edition

I wrote about my feelings towards the end of my #readharder2016 journey last year. I have some thoughts and feelings about this year’s challenge as well.

I should preface this by saying that I added a layer of complexity to my own version of the reading challenge for 2017. Inspired by the dominance of xenophonia and hate with the election of you-know-who, I decided I would no longer consume media written by straight, white men. And I would limit the number of white women on the list to four. I did cave a few times this year (The Gift of Fear being the stand out example, worth it in my opinion and a parenting book, co-written by a straight white couple).

But for my Read Harder, I sought out authors of color and I tried to purchase those books whenever I could. I also tried to take the time to review all the books by authors of color on Goodreads – these reviews are vitally important to feeding the Big Data Machine. I want there to be more stories from all these voices; from gender non-conforming individuals, to black women and men and for writing in translation. I did fall short of limiting my number of white women, I have 5 books I consider to be by white women (one is a native French woman) or I cannot tell from author bios on Amazon or Goodreads.

I know that I would never have read as much as I have this year without this challenge. I’ve read 46 books and it’s only the first week of November! But I have also joined a monthly feminist book club locally and the idea of having some sort of assigned reading next year that amounts to 36 books…is daunting to say the least. I was given a book by a good friend in the spring and I still have not picked it up yet. That’s a travesty! In 2018, I’d like to try to find a balance between pushing myself, growing in my understanding of feminism and reading as and for pleasure.

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