Hello again, fellow Bookworms!
I have a dream, my friends! Yeah, alright, that’s hardly original, is it? Martin Luther King came out with that one long before I was even born! He had a dream that people would be judged on the content of their character, rather than the colour of their skin. A damn good dream to have, if you ask me.
My bookworm dream is not all that dissimilar, though. I have a dream that, one day, books will be judged and recommended, on the content of their pages, and NOT the colour, gender, age, nationality, sexuality, religion, or any other factor about the author!
We are now in February 2017. There must be millions of books out there. Hundreds of thousands, at least. All over the world, written by all sorts of people. All kinds of genres of fiction, all kinds of subject matters when it comes to non-fiction. Billions of words in print, which we should be focusing on, rather than the appearance of the people who wrote or edited these items of reading matter!
If it’s fiction, is it a good plot? A good page-turner which will have the reader gripped? Will they stay up all night, past a sensible hour, to find out what happens next, even at the risk of falling asleep at their desk at work or school the next day?! One notable time that happened to me was when I was reading Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire! I shit you not! I could not put it down. This was around 2000 or 2001, I think. My colleague had got me into the Harry Potter books, and I loved them! The Triwizard Tournament, Hagrid, the Blast-Ended Skrewts, all of this stuff had me completely hooked… And then I happened to look up at the clock on my bedroom wall… Half past two in the morning! Oh shit! And I had work to get up for later… Oops!
That’s what we want from fiction writers. From those who write or edit factual books, we need to know that they’re accurate, they know their stuff, and they have the most up-to-date information possible.
In the nicest possible way, I couldn’t really give a shit about the authors. If they write something I enjoy reading, I’ll read it. If not, I won’t. Gender, colour, or any other fact about the writer is not going to sway me one way or the other!
Yet, even in 2017, people in the publishing world seem to think that readers are only going to want to read books by people who are the same as them! Anyone that shallow and narrow-minded probably isn’t much of a reader at all, anyway! Probably a deliberately-ignorant numpty, like Kanye West, or the Mango Mussolini who’s out of his depth as president… you know who I mean, that Wotsit-faced numpty whose surname is another word for fart!
Much as I like Book Riot and a lot of the things they post on Facebook, I do take issue with them when they get all preachy about diversity. I hate anyone getting preachy about ANYTHING! It’s fine to have beliefs, fine to even discuss them in a calm manner with others if you’re all willing to listen to one another, but it is NOT fine to ram them down anyone’s throat!
I think it’s dangerous ground to make too much of a big deal about diversity, as it can be seen as implying that your audience are not diverse and are unwilling to become so! It is as though you are levelling an accusation against them! I personally find it very offensive. How dare anyone try to suggest that I am not reading widely, especially when they don’t bloody know me?! Especially as that accusation would be completely untrue in my case!
Pop over the Atlantic, Book Riot, and come and meet me! Watch me checking off books I’ve read on List Challenges, come with me to Waterstone’s as I go through saying “read that” to a whole range of books. Anything from The Very Hungry Caterpillar and A Colour of His Own to Faster Than Lightning and Jamrach’s Menagerie, and everything I’ve read in between those times, all the stuff I read or at least skim-read at university…
I am 43 going on 44, a very 3-dimensional person with varied interests, and I am a seriously random reader! My non-fiction reads have included a mad list of subjects, such as volcanoes, music, sports, food & drink, and even a book about a journey around the Shipping Forecast! If you haven’t read Attention All Shipping, by Charlie Connelly, you really should! It’s brilliant, and really funny! Especially the bit about the Faroese puffins!
The important thing about books is what’s printed on the pages it contains!
I know there are a few authors of whose works I have read more than one item, but I generally don’t tend to give a toss about authors. In a nice way, that is. I mean I am not going to let anything sway me one way or the other.
If I like the sound of the plot, or if I like the subject matter, I will give the book a go. Zero f**ks will be given as to what the author looks like! He or she could be pink with yellow spots like Mr Blobby, for crying out loud, but if I like the sound of what they’ve written, I’ll read their book! Even if the author supported a rival footy team to mine, they might still write a damn good book! So I’d say it’s a pity they have no taste in football, lol, but they’re still a bloody good author! On the other hand, someone could be a fellow Red, but not really write the sort of books I’m interested in reading! They might write about economics, for instance, which sounds like a cure for insomnia as far as I’m concerned, so I wouldn’t be inclined to read what they’d written, but I’d admire their taste in football!
So, I have a dream that, one day, those who publish and promote books will wise up and realise that readers deserve much more credit than we’re getting at present! We DO read widely, we DO read about people who are not like us, and places that are different to ours, worlds that are different to ours in some cases, particularly if you read fantasy or science fiction novels! I might be some white 40-something bird from Eccles, Greater Manchester, but I’m not arsed what the author’s like…
Male or female, young or old, whatever faith, whatever nationality, gay or straight, or even if they happen to support the likes of City, Chelsea or Liverpool, lol… If they’ve written something I’d want to read, I shall read it! One of the funniest books I’ve ever enjoyed was Fever Pitch, by Nick Hornby, and he’s a Gooner! In fact I’ve read a couple of his books about books, the blogs he did for a literary publication, and he gets in as many mentions of Arsenal as he thinks he can get away with, lol, but despite our support for rival teams, I appreciate him sneaking those mentions into his writing – it actually makes me feel I’m not alone in what I do in these blogs, except that I am getting in mentions of Manchester United instead! If you want to read Hornby’s blogs, try The Complete Polysyllabic Spree, and Stuff I’ve Been Reading. You’ll see what I mean about the sneaky mentions of Arsene Wenger, lol!
It’s what you write about which should be the important thing!
On that note, I have written plenty of waffle for you to be getting on with, so I shall bring this blog to a conclusion and hope you somehow manage to enjoy it! Until next time, take care and Happy Reading!
Joanne x x x
Books mentioned in this blog entry…
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire – J. K. Rowling
- The Very Hungry Caterpillar – Eric Carle
- A Colour of His Own – Leo Lionni
- Faster Than Lightning – Usain Bolt
- Jamrach’s Menagerie – Carol Birch
- Attention All Shipping – Charlie Connelly
- Fever Pitch – Nick Hornby
- The Complete Polysyllabic Spree – Nick Hornby
- Stuff I’ve Been Reading – Nick Hornby