I’ve read countless books and loved them, but I also feel that there are parts of life that many books don’t mention. There is so much that doesn’t make it to the bookshelves.
As a disclaimer, most of the books I’ve read are YA fiction, so this is mostly criticizing that genre. But some of these points also apply to other genres as well. If not, let me know in the comments! How do your favorite genres compare?
Platonic friendships (male/female friends)
Few books explore the fact that males and females can be friends. Usually, they end up in a relationship with each other at some point. But it’s important to express how males and females can be friends too. The whole time.
Platonic friendships are valuable, so why shouldn’t they also be expressed in books?
When was the last time you read a book with a character that wasn’t white? Even just a few years ago, this was a hard question for me to answer. I’ve been trying to expand my outreach and read more books with racial diverse characters.
I went to a panel called “Silenced Voices” at AWP that spoke up more about this. There are so many voices out there that we haven’t heard from. So many experiences we’re missing. I also watched a TedTalk as well about this topic before and wrote a blog about it, but I’ll reiterate:
Representation is important. The more we see from the world, the more we’ll realize how we’re all human and experience some of the same things. We also experience the world differently at times, and that’s important to know too.
LGBTQIA+ REPRESENTATION—MORE THAN JUST GAY CHARACTERS—PAN, ACE, TRANS, ETC.
As mentioned above, representation is important, including queer representation. It’s something we could all read more of.
For example, someone in a Discord chat the other day asked if we knew any nonbinary main characters. The question stumped me because I haven’t read any! I’ve only read two books with an out asexual character. I know one book with a dominant trans character.
It’s important to learn more about the world around us. The more we read and learn, the more we can understand each other.
Most parents in stories are either divorced or at least one is dead. If they are there, usually they are glossed over or in the background. Rarely do I see a strong parent/child relationship in a book.
But parent relationships are important in everyone’s lives. We can’t all be missing our parents. (Or is this younger generation just children of divorce?) It’s important to have a good representation of everyone, and that means making parents stronger and visible characters.
At the end of the day, I do enjoy and like the books I have read. I just wish books covered the whole world instead of the world that sells well on a bookshelf.