Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Analyzing my Bookshelf

In light of some of the discussions on the publishing struggles Black women authors deal with on a regular basis, I decided to analyze my bookshelf.

What's that you say? You don't know what discussions I'm talking about?

Read the funny-but-also-sad response Carleen Brice has to say here.
Check out what The Salonniere has to say on and while you're at it, go listen to the radio show on the same topic here. Go ahead and click on them first, and then come back to my blog.


Dissecting all my books would be too labor intensive, but I'll show you two sections. This is one of my poetry sections:

That's 27 books. Now if I don't count the anthologies, the number goes down to 24. Out of the 24 books, all but 4 are written by POC. Gender-wise, 14 are written by women, which is almost 60 percent.

Now, check my Young Adult (hardcover) section:

Okay, that's a group of 16, and 8 of them are by POC...actually I'm not certain of the ethnic background of the author of Muchacho, but I'll take a hunch that she isn't POC. (Ask me about my hunch later if you're curious.) The majority of these books are by women (10).

So, what did I learn from my analysis? That I'm more diverse than I previously thought. When I go to the bookstore, I generally have a title or two in mind that's written by a Black woman. However, it seems like I will come out of the store with a book written by a man, and not all the women I read are POC. I need to read more Latino, Asian, African, American Indian, and Arab authors though. If you have recommendations, leave a comment.

What do you see? Wanna show me a picture of your bookshelf?


readyornot said...

Is your bookshelf always so orderly?! I'm impressed.

This is interesting to think about. I wonder how your non-fiction section looks. Suspect that mine would be overwhelmingly male and non-POC. Hmm. Would it also be interesting to consider how many living vs. dead authors are on your shelves? Or not so much?


江婷 said...

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evelyn.n.alfred said...

@readyornot No, my bookshelf is not always so orderly. I straightened them out a bit because I was taking a picture.
What you can't see in the picture is that behind that neat row of books, there is a pile books behind it that I don't have space for on the shelf.
I need to give some of my books away. Some of them I haven't even read.
My non-fiction section is probably way smaller, unless I include memoirs and autobiographies.
I looked at the bookshelf again just to check the living versus dead authors, and most of my authors are living, except for Audre Lorde.

...and to my other commenter who's name I cannot spell, thank you for the compliment.

Doret said...

My reading habits are pretty diverse though like most people it could be better. I don't read a lot of African or Asian authors.

I haven't read Muchacho because I know its by the author of Dangerous Minds.

And MC last name is Corazon. I thought that was a very cheesy gringo thing to do.

Judith van Praag said...

Hi Evelyn,

Your notes on Kamy Wicoff's interview with Francine Prose at SheWrites brought me to your blog.

Good to read your response to the TalkBlogRadio discussion the other day here. Incidentally I made photos of certain book shelves this past week to share titles with friends on FaceBook.

For your reading list: Recently published "Longing for This World" by Sonya Chung.

Hoka Hey!

Vizionheiry said...

will take a picture soon - mine is predominately Black women writers (I hide the others).


evelyn.n.alfred said...

@Doret: The Dangerous Minds bit is why I figured the author wasn't a POC.

@Judith: I'm glad you found me and told me how you did. I am always very curious about that. Thanks for the recommendation.

@Viz: Why do you hide the other books?

marco magisano said...

I confess I am a library voyeur. Nice to see your shelf.

evelyn.n.alfred said...

Glad you peeked at it Marco.