What I’m reading

It’s been a minute since I last wrote, but I spent the morning calculating some stats on the books I’ve been reading and I thought it was perfect fodder for an entry. Therefore, I’m starting what I hope will be a yearly tradition! My motivation is pretty simple: I believe it is important to expose myself to different perspectives, and one important (and relatively easy) way to do that is by reading books by diverse people. And critically, the only way to know that I’m actually doing that is by looking at my data. (I am a scientist, after all.) So here’s my data for 2015 and 2016:


POC refers to books by people of color. Women and queer refer to books by female and queer authors, respectively. Fiction and non-fiction are self-explanatory, I believe, and book club refers to books read for the two books clubs in which I participate. 2015 n=29; 2016 n=34.

So here’s what I know:
In general, I’m not reading enough books by non-white-males. Unsurprising, but still disappointing. I read about the same percent of books by POC in 2015 and 2016, which I will hopefully improve upon in 2017. I did increase my percentage of books by female authors, which is exciting, but it’s still not over 50%! More room for improvement. I’m reading barely any queer authors, and that needs to change, though the percent in 2016 is slightly improved compared to my dismal showing in 2015. Interestingly, I flipped my percentages of fiction and non-fiction. I started reading a lot of memoir in 2016 so I think that’s largely what caused the flip. And lastly, given that my first book club picked up steam and I joined a second book club in 2016, it’s not surprising that a higher proportion of books I read recently are attributable to book clubs.

We’ll see what happens in 2017! Can’t wait to update my graph 😉


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