Diversity In Books?

So, hiiiii first all.

It’s taking me all to post this. And it’s taken me a long time to write.

Secondly. I’m writing this to express my own opinion. This is not to offend, or to target anyone, author, or any book specifically. I also ask that if you wish write a comment (or e-mail), please keep it kind and considerate. Also, if you are unsure of what I mean at certain points, please ask me in the comments as I don’t want people to misunderstand what I mean at any point and take it negatively. 

Lately there had been a lot of talk in the book community about diversity of books. Especailly in YA.  And of course, people will have a difference of opinions about books, but the level of agression almost towards others about books isa reaching an unnecessary level.

I’m all for having diverse books, however, what I don’t appreciate is where people tear apart books that other people love because they don’t have loads of diverse characters, or if there is a diverse character and they have negative comments towards the LGBTQ+ society solely for plot purposes and are not the views of the author, just because they personally take offence to an aspect of the book.

I’ve seen some getting offended if the only diverse character in a book was killed off, but again, this is NOT because they have a different ethnicity or different sexual orientation or anything of the sort. This is just because of the dramatic effect and a plot aspect of the book. Again, it is not the author killing off the character solely because they don’t support the LGBTQ+ society or because they’re racist.

What I’ve also seen a lot is people shaming others for not reading books that are classed as “diverse” or by a diverse author; and also, shaming others for not prioritising diverse books. Yes, its great to read diverse books, I ADORE reading a diverse novel, I really do. But just because someone doesn’t only read diverse books doesn’t mean that they hate diversity in books, are racist, or against the LGBTQ+ society and that does not warrant them being shamed for reading books that aren’t classed as ‘diverse’.

Maybe, they don’t like the sound of the overall plot, or (for example) aren’t into contemporaries and therefore, won’t read a contemporary classed as ‘diverse’, but that does not mean that they are more likely to read a contemporary that isn’t classed as ‘diverse’, it only means: they don’t really like reading contemporaries, whether they’re diverse or not.

Furthermore, if one was to only read diverse books, you are doing the exact same thing as the ones you’re shaming, but in reverse. You can’t disregard authors because they don’t include a diverse character in the book. This level of hypocrisy and double standards is unnecessary. In addition to this, why judge someone by what they read and jump to conclusions about them as a person?

People may judge others for reading a book that is controversial, but the idea of controversy is that people have different views and there’s a dominant opinion in a community. But that does not eradicate other’s opinions. Their opinions are just as valid as your own. And sure, you can take offence, but they do not. And you should shame them for this. It’s just a difference in opinion and there is no need to be arguing over it at all.

I think that being able to discuss why you feel one way towards a book is fantastic, and it is something that should be discussed and is a very relevant topic. I think yes, there should be more diversity in books, but that isn’t stopping me from reading certain books just because they lack diversity, nor will it make me judge others who don’t read books that are classed as ‘diverse either’.

I’m going to read whatever I want to read. I’m going to have the opinions that I want to have. I’m not going to force these opinions on to others. I’m going to respect the opinions of others, and listen to what they have to say about a book and its aspects.

At the end of the day, no author is purposely targeting a community. I think that everyone needs to keep that in mind.


I’m writing this to express my own opinion. This is not to offend, or to target anyone, author, or any book specifically. I also ask that if you wish write a comment (or e-mail), please keep it kind and considerate. Also, if you are unsure of what I mean at certain points, please ask me in the comments as I don’t want people to misunderstand what I mean at any point and take it negatively. 


Thank you for reading this long post about me rambling about things again.

If you wish to discuss in the comments don’t feel shy to do so. Or, if you’d like to reply to this in a non-public format, feel free to go to my CONTACT page here.

Lu x

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25 thoughts on “Diversity In Books?

  1. Luuu, thank you so so much for this post! I actually feel the same way about how people have been reacting to diversity lately, but I’ve debated writing a post on that because I’m not as brave as you. But truly, you hit all the right points and voiced the exact complaints I had about it.
    I’m also 100% OK with diverse books but I’m totally against hating on readers who didn’t enjoy a diverse book even though they might’ve just not liked the plot of the book. A lot of people on social media have been targeting authors for not including enough diversity in their stories, while the books themselves are just AMAZING! And that seriously pissed me off about how people treat others.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! This is creating so much tension and negativity towards each other and I belive: a book is a book, and just because there aren’t loads of diverse characters, it doesn’t mean that an author is projecting hate.
      On bookstagram I’ve seen so much hate towards others and it hasnt been targeted me me but it has genuinely upset and angered me that people are hating on each other in such a way.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Yes exactly!
      Yeah it targeted a series I really love on Tumblr and it made me feel horrrible about loving it so much and now I see that those people were wrong and that they have no right to do that. So it can really hurt people.
      I just get irritated by the false accusations being said against authors just because of their race, which shouldn’t even matter to the readers!

      Like

    3. Exactly, just taking sjm into account here, if she had a different religion, or ethnicity, and still written the same books, she wouldn’t be accused of this, (I personally think)
      And yes, shattering a series for someone when they love it is a horrible thing to do. And you should never feel bad about loving a series!!

      Liked by 1 person

    4. Yes! The people who are just targeting her books and the people who like them are just insane! It really broke my heart seeing people judge books like this! Truly bothersome.
      Yeah nobody should feel bad because a book they like doesn’t have enough diversity and doesn’t completely focus on controversial stuff.

      Liked by 1 person

    5. Diversity is great, of course, and I want to read more diverse books because I think its important to read about these topics, but whether I read a book or not is determined by the plot, not the diversity factor.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hmm, buckle in because I have a lot to say on this topic.
    Mkay. While I agree with your point about forcing people to put diversity in books (often because it comes off as tokenism which is another post in itself imo) I very much disagree with the rest of the post.
    Your point that you made about racist and homophobic comments – yes, these things exist in the real world, and we can’t shy away from them. But if an author makes their character do or say something that is racist or homophobic in the text, then it NEEEEEEDS to be called out. I cannot emphasise this enough. Other characters MUST challenge it, and discuss it. Otherwise, it is going to be incredibly harmful to readers who potentially are part of that marginalized group.
    Further on from that, why do these comments even need to be in a book anyway? It’s 2017. We know that racism and homophobia is bad. So why do we need potentially triggering material and told that that’s the representation that we’re going to get.
    Also, I have a lot – and I mean a lot – of quibbles on the idea that an author is not racist or homophobic if they kill off their only marginalized characters in the text. I assume one way or another you were referring to Sarah J Maas here, as she’s very controversial when it comes to her killing off her poc. I’m not really qualified to speak on this, but when your only people of colour in the text are consistently killed off by the author in horrific, brutal ways, to further the white people’s plot, what does that say to PoC reading the text? That their storylines only matter if they die so the white person can advance as a character? Also Sarah J Maas is horribly problematic in general and my love for her books has died a lot over the past few months.
    Anyway, good post, and I enjoyed discussing all of this with you! Sorry my comment is horribly long hehehe.

    Like

    1. I think that you misinterpreted what I said about racist/homophobic comments. I mean it in the way you describe, a plot device which can influence the character and is discussed in the books and is combatted and therefore the character-and others can grow-can grow. Also, it would provide a message and spread awareness of racism (for example I belive The hate you give does this? I haven’t read it yet).
      Furthermore, not everyone who reads the book will be satisfied with every representation of a diverse character as we are all individuals who interprate things in our own way.
      And what you say about addressing the fact that there are racist/homophobic comments in a book, imagine the situation that I am referring to here: a world that is filled with racism-for example- (in a book) where this racism targets the main character or one of the leading characters. This is not the author projecting their own thoughts. This is them building a world where there is a conflict, a world that is wrong and needs to change. I personally would not view this as the author being racist, more like them discussing the topic.
      In addition, I wasn’t really talking about SJM and I wasn’t talking about a marginalised character being killed off either.
      On the topic of SJM (which I did not want to discuss as there are many other authors that have been judged for misrepresenting and homophobia and racism and disabled characters) I do not believe that her actions have been racist in the past, and I cannot say for her most recent book (ACOWAR) as I haven’t finished reading it yet and therefore cannot discuss it in full.

      However, as I said in my post, I respect people’s opinion and I wish that you respect mine as I did ask for that in the post. I feel like you blew my post out of proportion a bit and if there is anything else that you would like to discuss with me about what i wrote to make sure that there aren’t any more misinterpretations, please contact me. But as I said before, please don’t attack me for my opinions as we all have our own views. I respect yours, and other people’s.

      Like

  3. This was such a brave post. I agree so much. Most of the diverse books about there are contemporaries, and I’m not a huge fan of those. I’d love to read more diverse books, but there isn’t as much out there in the types of books I do enjoy reading. Another point I’d make would be that many authors nowadays make their books diverse just so people won’t be breathing down their neck. I don’t like this, as usually the diversity feels very forced (like, their race/sexuality/religion is their major character arc) and that just grows tiresome over time. I’d like more diverse characters whose arcs do not focus solely on being diverse. I feel like that would make it feel more natural and less forced on the author’s part.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, and yes you make an excellent point. It’s brilliant to have diversity, but the diversity shouldn’t have to be directed in to the book just do that it doesn’t appear like they’re being homophobic/racist. And often some of my favourite diverse books (so far) have included characters that are diverse, but they haven’t been the leading role. This isn’t because I’m against a diverse character being the leading role, its purely by chance. I like them because they bring a refreashung aspect to the book and it doesn’t feel as though the characters were added in only because of their sexuality/race/ethnicity/religion. And some people would accuse me of being racist for this, but in turn, I would have still lived the book if they were a more prominent character too.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I love diversity, but sometimes it’s just so forced…I want more characters to be different, but sometimes it’s overboard. And same! I want more diversity in non contemporaries, that’d be good. And sometimes I feel people forget that old books are surprisingly diverse; in the original Goldfinger book, one of the women was a lesbian, and in the Maltese Falcon there was a gay couple. It’s surprising. And diversity is refreshing, but not when the character’s whole arc is about their being different. I feel like they could leave a bigger impact if they were diverse, but their arc is about something totally different. And same! I wish more leads were diverse.

      Liked by 1 person

    3. The book I’m currently reading has just revealed even moreeeee diversity and I’m so happy it was included as it doesn’t feel forced at all.

      Yes, old books are hardly seen as being diverse when they are.
      And yes, I agree. Just because the character is diverse it doesn’t mean that the whole book needs to be based around this. I think that its a great addition to the novel if it has diversity, and the diversity isn’t always in the limelight of the book. I find then that they are just pointing out, and making a big deal of the diversity that they show in their book.

      Liked by 1 person

    4. The diversity can make more of an impact if it isn’t the character’s whole story. But it depends on the situation…like, I’m reading Lady Midnight, which has a character with autism. Most of his struggles come from that, but that’s because his culture is kinda hundreds of years back with that sort of thinking, yet it rings true even now! That’s probably why it has an impact; it rings true nowadays.
      And which book are you reading?

      Liked by 1 person

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