A lot of folks ask me if graphic novels, magazines, or children's books count as reading. Yes! Reading is reading, friends!! In fact, one of my favorite ways to read is through audiobooks. Sometimes, I will listen while I follow along on the page. We all have limitations and/or preferences so just read in whatever format works best for you.
I've heard a few readers claim that they just read whatever seems interesting to them without regard for the race, gender, etc. of the author. This is fine, however, since publishing is still a primarily white industry and queer books are less mainstream, the majority of the books that are readily available to us in stores and in libraries are by white straight cis-gender authors. Even if you do find a book with main characters who are queer and/or people of color, the author may still be white and possibly have less sensitivity towards the communities they depict. This is why learning more about the authors and reflecting on your reading is important.
I am an audiobook evangelist! It is my go-to format for everything from non-fiction books to fantasy. In the past, I often struggled with focusing when physically trying to read non-fiction. Audiobooks help me retain the information while freeing me up to do busy work with my hands. Plus, the sound effects, voices, and (sometimes) music can add to the experience!
Sometimes it's hard to be excited about reading when you don't have anyone to share it with. It helps to find a community of readers to be a part of, whether thats online or in-person. You can join a book club, follow bookish accounts on Instagram and TikTok, listen to book nerd podcasts, or even just show up to author events at libraries and bookshops. Someone out there will be into similar content!
Search for Different Perspectives
Take a minute to think back on the books you've read in the past. What identities did the main characters and authors hold? Are they all similar or do they vary? Start searching for books and authors with different experiences and backgrounds as this will expand your view, knowledge, and empathy for yourself and others.
Support Your Local Library
As a librarian, I must emphasize just how awesome local libraries are! Whether you are looking for a book, films, games or events, they have something for you. There are even apps you can use on your phone or tablet that connect you to your library's audiobook, e-book, film, and music catalog. Apps like Libby and Hoopla are my favorites! All you need is a library card.
Want to learn more?
Gabby offers free virtual workshops on diversifying your reading!
Reach out to join: