First, read this post by David Anthony Durham about the oft used argument of being a ‘color blind’ reader.
I’m a pretty standard example of an American upper-middle class upbringing and could serve as a great example of the term W.A.S.P. (White Anglo-Saxon Protestant). As such, I’m almost certain that I’ve at some point claimed to be ‘color blind’ regarding reading and some issue or another – and when I made the claims I considered this to be a positive example of a lack of racism.
Over the last several years I’ve noticed that I can’t really make that argument anymore. I actively seek out diversity of one kind or another in my reading. I want to read a book from a different perspective. I bought ___ because the author is from Columbia, and ___ because it’s originally a Russian work, and ____ because it’s from Japan, and ___ because her perspective sounds intriguing, and ____ because he’s African, and ____ because he’s homosexual, etc. Were these the only reasons – maybe? I don’t know, but they were reasons. And I certainly don’t do this for every book I get – I get a lot of books because they sound good (and I may not know anything about that author), and I of course get books specifically because I know of the author even if I don’t know of that particular book. But, I can say that I know longer buy books blindly, and my reading experience has been greatly enhanced as a result.
And in spite of the entire previous paragraph, a study of my bookshelf would reveal that a large majority of the books were written by white males. It sure makes me think.