A quickie post to say that today I'm over at BookSworn, talking about bias in SFF publishing and how challenging yourself to read outside your comfort zone can lead to all manner of awesome book discoveries:
If you hang around online SFF forums like I do, you’ve probably seen the following: a blogger will post that they are challenging themselves this year to read X number of books by women (or writers of color, or LGBT writers, or what have you). Invariably, another poster will respond saying something like, “That’s silly. Books should be judged on quality alone, not on the race/gender/orientation/etc of the author. I pick my reads solely based on whether or not the story appeals to me – isn’t that how it should be?”
I sympathize with this reaction. It’s one I would have had myself only a few years ago. After all, there’s truth in it: the identity of the author *shouldn’t* matter. And personal taste is, well, personal – not something that can (or even should) be forcibly changed.
But here’s the thing I’ve learned since I’ve become an author and gotten a much deeper experience of the publishing industry: personal taste is not the only factor that affects our reading choices...
Read the rest: On the Utility of Reading Challenges