Toronto, ON – May 7, 2019 – Three out of five actively seek out books about diverse topics/experiences or by underrepresented authors, according to a new survey from BookNet Canada
A new study from BookNet Canada, Demand for Diversity: A Survey of Canadian Readers, investigates whether Canadian readers want more diversity in the books and authors they read, and if so, if they are able to find what they are looking for in the book supply chain.
Analyzing responses from 500 English-speaking Canadian readers surveyed in late 2018, the report highlights readers’ experiences with, and interest in, reading books by and/or about those who are BIPOC, LGBTQ+, disabled or differently abled, and religious minorities. Highlights of the study include the finding that 31% of Canadian readers believe they would read more if they were able to access more diverse books, and that 13% of underrepresented readers — i.e., readers who identified themselves as belonging to one or more of the above groups — "strongly agreed" that it is difficult to find diverse content in the book market.
Other insights that can be found in the study include how readers are discovering and acquiring books, the diversity of the books they are currently reading, and lots more alongside direct quotations from Canadian readers on the importance of diverse books.
Though there are no easy answers when it comes to understanding issues of inclusive representation in book content and authorship, BookNet Canada hopes that Demand for Diversity will provide a foundation of data and analysis to support ongoing discussion in the industry. To that end, the report also includes suggested next steps and resources for making diverse books more accessible to readers.
The full report can be read for free at booknetcanada.ca/demand-for-diversity.
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We acknowledge the financial support of the Government of Canada through the Canada Book Fund (CBF) for this project. / Nous reconnaissons l’appui financier du gouvernement du Canada par l’entremise du Fonds du livre du Canada (FLC) pour ce projet.
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