Mike MJ Harris

Book Balance


Books. Amazing, beautiful, bewildering books. I love reading. In a previous post I wrote about the unconscious unbalance in the gender of the authors of the books I've read in the past. Here is an update of the variety of books I've been reading since that previous post in 2016.

Book balance

*Year so far
Books by:
Year Male authors Female authors
2015 5 6
2016 8 2
2017 6 12
2018* 7 12

It's becoming second nature now to have a more balanced book consumption. Having a kindle really helps - I make sure that whenever I come across a good book recommendation, and especially when that recommendation is written by a non white male author, I order it straight away so I always have something to hand when I finish a novel.

Beyond gender

While my initial focus on gender was a response to a guardian article I've also been making sure I get as wide a range of experiences as possible. That's meant reading more books by people of colour, also a wider geographical range and also those who write about or identify on different gender or sexual spectrum.


There are good tips everywhere - these can be a bit overwhelming. Sources I've relied upon include the FT weekend arts section, my Hackney book club, friends and social media. There's a whole range of everything on twitter and here's an example of the positive side:

Reading more

As you might of noticed from the table at the start of this post I'm on track to read almost double the number of books from previous years. I'm more settled in my career and have more head space to read. My commute has also changed - on average I gain about 1h of reading time over a week from previous years. It's felt a natural change and I'm sure the number will rise and fall as life changes over the next few years. I read for the joy of reading.