It has been an interesting week, both in blogging land and in my personal life with the start of a new semester and it seems that I really have had a lot to think about. I’ve been somewhat silent on many of the issues at hand, at least on my blog, I have been vocal in the comments, but it is important to me to publicly say what I think, because adding one more voice to the crowd is important.
There is first, of course, the question of whitewashing on book covers. Magic Under Glass is a book I have not read, but it is clear that Bloomsbury made another big mistake. I do not condone this and while I will not be boycotting the publisher (though I completely support those who are), I want to make it very clear that this is not okay. It is completely unacceptable and I have a responsibility, as a reader, a reviewer, a purchaser of books, to make it clear to all publishers that yes, I (a white, middle class 20-something) will read and review and love books by POC. This is not about liking a book just because an author has skin darker than mine, because no, I will not like every single book by or about a POC that I read and I will be completely honest about that, because to do anything less would be just as bad. This is about reading about and becoming aware of different cultures, and trying to understand. With understanding, comes respect. Thankfully, the blogging world is quick to respond to such things, and several new resources have arisen in the past week to help readers like me, who want to diversify their reading and make a point to put POC authors and books about POC characters in the spotlight.
Join one, join two, join three. Or don’t join any, but do something if this is important to you. Because no matter how small your voice is, and I know that in this big publishing world my voice is very small, you have the opportunity make someone listen. So take advantage of that, use your blog for good.
But it is not all about POC. It is about reading books that make a difference. No, reading is not always about making a statement, but sometimes it is. Why was I embarrassed when I was reading Twilight in public? Why are some adults embarrassed to be reading a young adult book in public? Because the book you choose to read says something about you, it informs the observer about you, whether you like it or not. It just might get someone else reading the same kinds of books you are. Not every single book I choose to read will make a difference, but I should make a point to tell you about the ones that will. That is my philosophy and that is what I plan to keep doing this year. One of my new years resolutions was to use the reading challenges I have joined (Women Unbound, GLBT Challenge, POC Reading Challenge) to make my reading more diverse and to raise awareness about people and cultures and issues that are different from my own. Or even to explain, in the best way I know how, things that make my experience unique: by giving you a book to read.
In other news, I have some giveaways to announce the winners of! Chosen by random.org:
The winner of René has two last names/René tiene dos apellidos by Rene Colato Lainez is:
The winner of Under the Ceiba by Silvio Sirias is:
The winner of a button from The Strand New York is:
Email me your addresses to firstname.lastname@example.org and they will be on their way!