Apr 27, 2015

Why do we need more diverse books?

There's no doubt that we need diverse books.I think it's something that all of us will agree on.
After all,there was even a campaign started for the cause where readers and authors around the world came together and stated the need for more diversity in fiction,with #Weneeddiversebooks

But apart from that,it's true that we all have our own reasons for wanting more diversity in the books we read.If I ask you why,some might just say,

Well I personally have a couple of reasons for why we need more diverse books,and I've always wanted to share my view about it.So here we go.

Basically,I am tired of reading about white people all the time.

I mean,no offense to you guys,but still it gets a bit tiring to see almost all the characters in a book are white.Whether it's contemporary,sci fi or fantasy,the books are filled with white characters.I mean,come on,just how many famous non white characters of fiction can you think up in a minute?

And then,I want to read about and see more cultures and countries.All I that I've learned about America and its lifestyle,I did through reading.It's amazing how much I know about that country,the traditions,the lifestyle and the places just by things I read in books.

But the spotlight mustn't be on the same county for so long.We need to see more countries,more cultures and more lifestyles.Some books have done that-like Cinder which is based on China,Die For Me and Anna and the French Kiss which happens in  France and Ink which is set in Japan.But otherwise the majority of YA books are set in the US.

And I don't even want to start about dystopian books.I mean have you ever wondered what happens to the rest of the countries in the world after the certain apocalypse that created the dystopian America?
No trace of them.

Just gone like that.

And why I think we need different country settings in books is because it lets the readers know more about other countries and people,regardless of what the ethnic stereotypes may suggest.

And that brings me to the next point.We need diversity because it will destroy stereotypes.I mean,I really don't get why all Asians are considered to be smartypants.Why do people assume that we are all good in Maths and Science?That all Asians are nerds?

Because even if there's an Asian character in a book,they'll be portrayed as the "smart ones".Even in Harry Potter-a series I respect a lot for the amount of diversity in it-two of the three Asian students of Hogwarts (Cho Chang and Padma Patil) were in Ravenclaw-which was the house of the geniuses.

This is just an example.There's so much ethnic and racial stereotypes out there which will only disappear if fictional characters of different races are portrayed as realistic and normal people both in media and books.

Then there's the fact that we readers love it when we can relate to the characters.

How happy would you feel,when you read a book with a character who is from your own country,race or heritage?It's a simple pleasure,where we will be able to immediately connect to them just because they share something with us.But that doesn't happen for everyone,does it?

Finally,diversity in books makes people more broad minded and less judgemental.

I like to admit something here.I was pretty much an anti-gay person when I was younger.I was brought up in a way which encouraged me to frown at the whole concept.
But when I started to read,and discovered characters who belonged to the LGBT community,my views started to change.
If books can make an Asian catholic school girl from a conservative society change her whole mind about this concept just because she read about characters who made her think differently,I think they can make a huge change in the world.There need to be more queer characters in fiction,to show to the world that they are no different and no less normal than the rest of us.

What do you think about more diversity in books?
Why do you think we need it?

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