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Books, Women Issues

Women have to break their silence. They have to write.

Elif Shafak, Black Milk

Recently Time Magazine posted an article on the reading habits of the Americans. According to the Pew report, the adult readers could be brought to 82% female and 69% male. Further investigation of the data shows that not only more readers are women, but they also have a higher number of books read per year.

To introduce the concept of quality in terms what is being read, writer and illustrator Joanna Walsh reminded that we, the readers often tend to forget about the female writers.

In order to encourage book lovers to include more women authors in their reading lists this year, Walsh created real bookmarks with illustrations of some of her favourite writers. The space on the back of the cards she had filled with the names of 250 women who wrote great books. Impressive.


Asked to tweet the names on Twitter, Joanna Walsh came up with the better idea to create the hashtag #readwomen2014.


Immediately readers from all over the world started suggesting names to be included in the list or to announce that they are joining the idea.


The virtual campaign of Walsh came in an opportune moment offering a much-needed voice in the conversation about the subtle or overt brushing-off of female writers.

Although some journalists labeled immediately #readwomen2014 as a a new feminist movement I believe the discourse Joanna Walsh has started in cyber space has more in common with the process of getting engaged with books. I was quite happy to discover the Twitter community of people of all ages and nationalities passionately sharing titles and author names, making lists and getting inspired by each other.

While browsing the hashtag this morning I already have discovered some great lists I will keep an eye on. On Goodreads and this one suggested by the blogger Maria Popova.

Check out what Joanna is saying about the campaign herself on berfrois.com

I should admit these days I am quite absorbed by A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki and I am impatiently expecting one of my all time favourites – Changing by Liv Ullmann to arrive home soon.

What is on your reading list?

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