This December, my goal is to only read books written by women.
Why? As I watched the #readwomen movement spawn on Tumblr, I saw it attacked as sexist (why discriminate against men? being the rallying cry ), and then defended ardently with all sorts of reasons, most of which echoed my own thinking but were much more eloquent.
I have nothing against male authors–some of my favorites are men, and I would never stop reading their work entirely.
And my shelves don’t exactly lack for women–in fact, since I have anywhere from five to over a dozen books each by my favorite fantasy authors, most of whom are female…well, my shelves skew in favor of women. So I don’t feel that I’ve been neglecting them.
But my reading habits before never stemmed from conscious choice. If a book sounded good, I never cared before who wrote it, at least not along gender lines. I have never read female authors with intention. And I thought it was something I should do.
So I looked at my TBR stack and culled it down to the ladies. I was happy to see more than half of them stayed in the stack, especially with the addition of my most recent thrift-store finds, Black Beauty and The Poisonwood Bible, 25 cents a piece.
I decided to start with Black Beauty yesterday because it’s a childhood classic that I somehow missed reading. I was never a “horse” girl, though I had two good friends over the years that were, so I have at least ridden a horse in my life. (I never fell off, but because I never really learned to ride properly, there wasn’t much to recommend the experience, either.)
So far, I’m enjoying it, though at times I find the language a bit wearingly simple–I’m sure I wouldn’t have if I’d read it when I was ten, though, so I’m trying to keep that in mind. What I like best is hearing the tale from BB’s point of view, which of course immediately made me want to write something from a non-human POV in a future project. Dragons, anyone?