Possibly the saddest reading thing to do to books short of burning them.

In the year 2015, I’ve resolved not to read a single book written by a white, male author.
I’m doing this because white men are overrepresented in almost every aspect of the publishing industry, and I tend to read their books disproportionately by default.

via My 2015 Reading List Includes Nothing Written By White Men -Alexis Nedd.

I was lucky enough that my parents instilled in me a devotion for reading. Actually they kind of did the job so well, I am almost fanatical about reading: there are books in every room of my house, including the laundry room.  It gets to the point that my wife complains about it some since when I am done, I usually don’t put them back in the bookcases because I love to see books everywhere…yes I am weird like that.

I am a thematic reader. I get interested in a subject and I will research the best books on the matter, buy them (I can’t borrow books from the library unless is something very specific that I will not visit again, another quirk of mine) and submerge myself into the whatever called my attention till I am satisfied. I also follow authors that catch my fancy, usually established for a while so I can again gorge in reading.

What I have never done was select my reading material based on racial politics. Hell, I am a hard-core anti-communist and I have read Che, Marx, several Latin idiots and even Rosa Luxembourg. Are there subjects or Authors I don’t read? Economics & mathematics are two, Louis Lamour bores me to tears same as Scott Fitzgerald and won’t even consider Self-Help or Biographies of people who are still alive or recently died. But I never bothered to see the color of the skin of the author. Maybe the name gives something away, but being raised in South America where the last names oftentimes do not match the pigmentation, I learned long ago to enjoy the written word and not the melanin.

So what Ms. Nedd is doing has nothing to do with reading and learning but posing. However I would encourage her to buy as many books as possible if for anything to make the authors some money. Viva El Capitalismo!

PS: There is an old story about a Nouveau riche who built himself a mansion that included the obligatory library. The story goes that he bought books by both cost, shelf length and colors. He wanted to be sure all shelf space was occupied by the best leather-bound books and that they color coordinated.

PS2: Maybe I do have a recommendation after all for Ms. Nedd: Selected Speeches by Martin Luther King Jr. I am sure in there she will find the famous passage “I look to a day when people will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” and hopefully this time she will get it.

10 Replies to “Possibly the saddest reading thing to do to books short of burning them.”

  1. I like the tacit admission by her that she is in fact the one with the racial issues.

    The larger point here that these people never seem to think about is maybe white males are represented better in that particular genre or filed because there simply aren’t many women or men of color writing in that genre or field…. Its not a conspiracy its a coincidence…

    It’s also like pay rates. Women are paid less than men. Women also dominate jobs in sectors like service where everyone is paid less than an engineer… But that’s a conspiracy too apparently.

    Also FWIW her experience does not match mine while studying for an English degree; women and people of color were represented equally is not more because of the subject matter of the classes I took.




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  2. I’m reading a book by a Womyn!! right now (+5 SJW).
    However, it’s “The Proud Tower” by Barbra Tuchman (pre WW1 history), so it probably doesn’t count…
    Plus, she’s considered one of the better historical writers not because of her gender, but because she is a pretty good writer.




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  3. Heh. Sometimes I’m able to figure out the author’s sex based on the name (“Sarah” and “Carol” are traditionally female, while “Larry” and “Stephen” are male). Otherwise, I pay a whole heckuvalot more attention to the synopsis on the back (or jacket flaps) than I do the picture of the author, which is generally a posed portrait that makes them look more intellectual or brooding….what’s wrong with an author pic of the guy out rock climbing? Anyhoo….I’ve probably put down as many poorly-written books by males as by females, and if its that badly written, I could care less about skin pigmentation.




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