So today I wanted to share some thoughts on a issue that I think many of us can relate to, an issue that has been pushed towards readers specifically in recent years and having a discussing on the important of reading diversely and whether it should be a focus for us readers or not.
So I first want to say that I think that this issue is very dividing in some ways and in all honesty I think it depends on the style in which you want to read diverse reads and what reading diversely actually means to you. I am sure that this might be an unpopular opinion, but I don’t think that reading diversely for diversity’s sake is actually a good thing. I think its important that we have diverse situations and characters that are a main focus in the story that represent various cultures and races and disabilities. When you read diversely its not just reading black romance or even interracial romance, its a pretty massive base. It extends to LGBTQ rep as well as reading characters that live with disabilities. So there is a lot that can go into it and many books that are available to us as readers that offer a different perspective than what we receive in the norm. Now I do think the big question that readers tend to get pressured into is: Should I read diverse reads for diverse sake? Should I be looking at the numbers and trying to build those reads? Or do the numbers actually matter? I have seen actual booktubers and bookstagrammers blast readers for not reading diverse enough. And the question comes into your mind, I should be able to read what I want to read when I want to read them. I think at the end of the day, it depends on what works best for you as a reader.
I think for me as a reader reading diverse reads for diversity’s sake is NOT a good plan at all. When it comes to the books that I read, I want to read quality books, I want to read just really GREAT books and not just because they have diverse aspects in the story. Because I think if that is all you look for, then what your reading might not be so great and will turn into average type of reading. I personally do not care what race my characters have, or what gender they are attracted to or if they deal with certain disabilities. I want to see that in the books I read, but in a natural genuine way. Its actually quite cool if I look at the amount of diverse reads I read every month and I am not looking to reading diversely all the time, I don’t chase them, they just tend to come to me and they end up being close to 25-30% of my reading minimum every single month. And I think much of that stems from me just looking at recommendations, and reading the blurbs and reading reviews and deciding if its a book that will work for me or not. I honestly do not care or even look for authors with a certain race, personally, they could be blue aliens with horns and I would still read their book if it was a GOOD book. I just want to enjoy the books that I read and my only aspects I really look for is: The cover ( I need something pretty), engaging writing, a solid romance and a HEA. If it has those elements you can bet I will pick it up. So while I want to have more diversity in the books I read, I don’t chase it as that being the only reason I will read certain books. Because I think when you do that it takes away looking for a quality read. I think there are many quality diverse reads and many times it will just naturally happen in your reading. I know that some in the community don’t agree with this, but I have tried going the route of just reading for diversity sake and I ended up in a book slump because I wasn’t reading books I really wanted to and I ended up with slow uninteresting reads that didn’t do much for me, so instead I switched to reading books that people highly recommended, and I have found that today more authors write more diversely than you would expect even. And I think if you look at your numbers you would be amazed by how many books actually have diversity in them.
I know that this topic is very divided and I am not sure of the reaction that I will get, but I have been thinking about this for a LONG time, and think its important to have these honest discussions in the community and not be afraid to be honest in our we feel about picking up the books that we read.
So below I wanted to share some of my favorite diverse reads that were amazing romances and had all the aspects of a GREAT quality book but also some fabulous representation as well!
So tell me how do you do your diverse reads? Do you let them come to you naturally? Or do you seek them out more proactively? What is most important to you when reading diversely? And if you read romance, what books have great diverse representation but are also amazing quality reads that you would recommend the most? ( Feel free, to be honest and open, this is a safe place to interact with each other and never be ashamed of what you read!) Let me know in the comments below!