I Read Only Books by Women For a Year: Here’s What Happened

If KT Bradford’s challenge to consciously expand your literary horizons isn’t for you, cool. But if it makes you angry, even if it’s not angry enough to take to the internets and rage, then maybe just take a moment and ask yourself why. If you come up with a good reason, then by all means carry on, I guess, though as someone with long-standing anger management issues I can say from my personal experience that acting in anger has never worked out particularly well for me. I can also say that consciously challenging my defaults and worldview has always, in my experience, been profitable, and making alterations in the parts that don’t hold up to honest scrutiny has driven my evolution not only as a reader but as a human being for my whole adult life. Personally, I’d wager that the angrier the challenge to read outside your comfort zone makes you, the more likely you are to profit by it. But that’s just my opinion. Your mileage may vary.

But if you look at your reasons and they maybe don’t hold up as well as you thought they did, then maybe it’s worth trying whatever version of the challenge is most amenable for you. Try it for a month. Or three, or six. Hell, try it for one book. As my father was wont to say when I was growing up, you can stand on your head in shit for [finite period of time]. If it doesn’t work out, okay, you gave it a shot. Maybe try again sometime, whatever. What’s the worst that could happen? What’s the best?

Dallas Tailor

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