Hello all and happy Thursday! Lately I’ve been thinking bout what it is that I want to see more of in terms of the selection of books available to readers. I was in Barnes and Noble the other day to buy Dawn Kurtagich’s new psychological thriller (which, if you’re into that genre I highly recommend checking some of her books out), and I noticed that the selection available to us American readers is surprisingly limited.
What I mean by limited is that, well, most of the books that get marketed to us are usually quite mainstream. For example, I was planning on studying abroad in Tokyo next summer (I told y’all about this a while back but, long story short, I won’t be making a trip to Japan until after I graduate Uni) and so I had to write some essays for scholarship applications about why they should fund my trip. Me being an English Lit major would make no sense if I went to Japan, so the spin I was gonna write in my essays was that I wanted to learn more about Japanese culture for my own personal writing and to better understand Japanese literature. (Btw, this wasn’t a lie necessarily as I am extremely interested in reading Japanese literature and writing some stories with Japanese culture). But, when I searched all over Barnes and Noble for Japanese translated books, all that I could find were generic ones all written by Murakami Haruki (which I’ve read and I think they are just okay). I was hoping for more of a variety, more of a selection to choose from but, unfortunately, there were no more books to choose from.
So, what this experience made me realize is that, we’re really only given a narrow selection of reading here in the U.S. I know that it’s a little selfish and a bit greedy to say that there aren’t enough books available to us (I’m well aware that this is a first world problem and I’m very grateful for what I’m able to live with) but if we’re going to be given an abundance of books, why not make them as diverse and various as possible? I’d love to read some books in translation from writers around the world. I’d love to see more and more characters with various backgrounds and cultures and different stories to tell than all the other generic ones we’ve already read about a million times over. I’d love to experience reading books that people half way across the world are reading without them having to be international sensations (that’s right, I’m looking at Harry Potter, I’m looking at Percy Jackson and so on). Books shouldn’t have to be worldwide main hits in order for people across the world to be able to read them, that’s just limiting to readers everywhere. What about the diamonds in the rough? Who knows, maybe my absolute favorite book will turn out to be written by a little known German writer or French writer or Japanese writer. I wouldn’t know because what American publishers give us is the same kind of books in a repeated cycle with variants of the same flashy covers to reel us in. I’m not saying that what we’re given is bad (believe me, I love so many American written books) but what I’m saying is, in addition to what we are usually provided, I’d love to see more diversity and variation in, not only the characters/situations/cultures portrayed, but in authors and regions from which books are created.
So, what are your thoughts on this matter? Do you want to see something new from publishers? What do you feel is lacking in the book industry that you’d like more of? Do you agree with any of my ramblings? Disagree? Let me know your thoughts and chat with me in the comments below!!Thanks so much for reading y’all! Let me know anything you’d like to say in the comments below, you know I love hearing from y’all!
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