Boycotting American Authors

“We read to know we’re not alone.” ― William Nicholson


If you’ve been around awhile you will know I am a pretty big bookworm – I always have been. In high school I would go early to sit on the floor in front of my locker and read before class. Or if there was a spare moment in class I would be reading. Even in elementary school, I was constantly reading – winning monthly reading competitions. Even when I was way younger, I used to take my Dr. Seuss books and copy them out. I very much lived (and still do) in a world consumed with books. Books, books, books. They truly give me so much happiness and fulfillment.

However, I have reached a crossroads with my books. I had the idea to map the books I have read this year, and it was quite insightful. I created my own Google Map, and plotted where the author was born (or currently living if place of birth was not listed) as well as if they were of non-european decent.

This was quite eye-opening. A good 80% of the books I have read this year (100 and counting!!!) were from the US. I didn’t like that number at all – especially since only a handful of books I’ve read were by Canadian authors.

So I have started boycotting American authors – mostly. I am trying to read more diversely. I am trying to find a balance between getting better ‘well read’ and reading for pleasure. I think it is a definite fine line between the two – I don’t want to feel like I am back in school getting ‘forced’ to read books I really, really don’t like – I’m looking at you Animal Farm, boy did I not like you…

The problem I am facing is finding books which I am interested in, that are translated into English, accessible to Kindle, and preferably NOT long dense classics such as War and Peace.

Below is my map, and it is quite clear to see where I am lacking, mainly from Russia diagonally to South Africa..

Colour code – light pink female of North American/European decent, Raspberry – Females of Non-European decent, darker blue – males of NA/European decent, light blue – males Non-European decent, and lastly Purple – American Females who’s biography just states “American”

Screen Shot 2015-06-09 at 11.38.11 AM

So, to my Bookworm buddies….

* Do you have any favourite books I should check out by non american authors? 

* Do you read diversely, or am I just overthinking this and should really just read what makes me happy?


3 thoughts on “Boycotting American Authors

  1. I don’t even take note of where the authors are from. I just read for pleasure. If a book happens to be written by someone of non-American descent and focusing on non-American settings (such as Nnedi Okorafor, Nigerian-American, and author of “Who Fears Death”–great book set in post-apocalyptic Sudan!) then great. If not, that’s fine, too.

    Although I do like where you’re going with this. I am now interested in mapping out my previous reads.

  2. because my sister has lived in africa she reads a lot of books written by african authors one of her favorites is Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. she’s written some great books: purple hibiscus, half of a yellow sun, and americanah.

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