gender parity

the essential kit

So after reading Juliet E McKenna’s quite terrific blog post about women in SF/F, I became curious as to the percentages of books I read by each gender (only because this guy is trying to balance his own gender parity in reading). Since I’ve been keeping an annual reading list since 1998, I could offer up a very thorough look at fifteen years of my reading proclivities.

I haven’t got the time right now to do a 15 year retrospective (if somebody else wants to, have at!), but it was quick and easy to check this and last year’s books read, anyway.

In 2012, I read 40 books by women, 21 by men, 1 by gender unknown, 1 by a writer pair, and 1 by Richard Castle, who technically falls under gender unknown. :) Out of the 21 by men, 10 of them were graphic novels, which is neither here nor there but mildly interesting to me.

To break it down a bit farther, since a number of the books were by the same writers, I read 20 women writers in 2012 and 14 male writers (plus the above changed out). While that’s not parity, it’s not too far off.

This year out of 21 books so far, 13 are by men…but 11 of them are re-reads and those 11 were written by only two authors. So 4 men and 7 women so far.

Am I likely to try to set a goal of gender parity in my reading? No. Why? Well, mostly because I’m so terribly far behind on my reading anyway that if I have to add thinking about that in, I’m never going to catch up. :)

(see, now i can’t stop myself. 2011, 9 women, 10 men. 2010, 6 women, 8 men. And that’s as far back as I can go quickly, because of how I used to keep the lists…)

(eta: can’t…stop…! 2009: 23 books by women; 15 writers. 37 books by men; 22 writers. Also, again: 23 of the 37 were graphic novels. For whatever that’s worth. Besides commentary on the preponderance of men writing superhero comics.)

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