2xl: 2016-01-17

I wake up and read Facebook on the toilet (save time! be productive!).

But I’m thinking about reading and diversity.

Intentional diversity.

There’s a mini-war going on between those who are actively trying to be more diverse and inclusive in their reading—and going public with their intention—and those who decry that as an abominable act of political correctness.

But it’s the friendly fire I’m trying to understand.

Those who (claim to?) support these efforts to challenge an inequitable system but apparently just want those making the effort to shut up about it already.

And I get some of the concerns: that such sharing can make the reading more about the reader’s ego than the books and authors and the related argument that those declaring themselves should spend their time writing about what they’re reading.

The former is easily avoided through simplicity.

Just don’t do that.

And then proceed.

But aren’t blogs and social media a place to work out one’s thoughts and reflect at meta- (and meta-meta, etc) levels?

Why should anyone be chastised for openly considering their reading habits or making a public commitment?

Not because in some cases the criticism of doing so might not be true, but because what do those critics hope to achieve?

And isn’t their criticism subject to the same secondary attack: wouldn’t their time be better spent writing about the authors and works they purport to support?

But that’s not my question.

In an ideal world it would be easy to say “I don’t care about diversity, just quality.”

But in this world many works occupy the same “tier”; there are many ties.

Since I can’t—even setting aside the conundrum of selection—hope for a rank order, why not intentionally embrace diversity?

The only thing I have to lose is time.

And none of us have enough of that.

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