I’m currently reading one of the shortest books that I’ve read in a while and, considering how short my usual books tend to be, that’s saying something. Can You Ever Forgive Me? runs at under 200 pages yet I still couldn’t finish reading in time to review it. I’ll be honest, it’s been an odd week and I’ve been pretty up and down. Which has all meant that I haven’t made as much time for reading. It also didn’t help that my book club has been postponed until later this month. Now that I have no deadline I’ve lost all energy to finish it. All of which means I needed something else to write about. Thankfully, I’ve been thinking of this for a while.
This Monday was International Women’s Day. A day that is dedicated to celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. It is a day to highlight and challenge the disparity between the genders. A time to call for equality. As people in the book community, it is also a time to celebrate and champion female writers. As such, those of you on Instagram will no doubt have noticed plenty of amazing female centric content cropping up in your feed. There was one post that really caught my eye and prompted me to write this post. The caption started with the age-old question:
Do you preferentially read books by women or men?
I, obviously, responded in my normal pretentious and, probably, obnoxious way, which I won’t go into yet because it would negate the need to write this post. Instead, I want to focus on most replies. They consisted of a sentiment that went along the lines of “I don’t care about the gender of the writer. It’s all about the story.” There’s nothing wrong with this idea in theory but it’s an attitude that I do think we need to change. And I’ll tell you why.