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Are You a “Real” Reader?

Deepali Agarwal

Staff Writer

Deepali Agarwal has a Master’s in literary linguistics, which means that every person she’s ever known has, at some point, asked her to ‘edit a thing’ for them-- ‘just see if it reads okay?’ She doesn’t mind, because she believes that the world can be fixed one oxford comma at a time. Deepali lives in Delhi, the capital of India, where cows are sacred, but authors and poets exist and write brilliant things. She works as an editor with OUP India’s School ELT division, where she moves apostrophes, looks up pictures of cats, and talks about children’s books for eight hours. The rest of her day is spent reading, thinking about Parks and Recreation, and wondering if there exist jobs for English majors that pay more than peanuts. Twitter: @DeepaliAgarwal_

The reading impostor syndrome is very real, and sometimes you don’t know if you’re still qualified to call yourself a certified ~Real Reader~ after a gigantic slump consisting purely of Netflix binges and mindless smartphone scrolling, so we’ve devised a quiz for you! Find out how “real” a reader you are.

Dear ~Real Readers~, thank you for contributing to a better world.

@ everyone else, know that you can smell all the books you want, and work in publishing, and be surrounded by threateningly tall TBR piles, but if you think it’s not the reader’s responsibility to promote and support authors from diverse and marginalized backgrounds, we can’t confer the ~Real Reader~ status upon you.

If you need to read up more about what I’m saying here, visit Book Riot’s diverse reading FAQs here, and go from there. Reading diversely is a very straightforward need right now, and there are no two ways about it.

“If more people are buying/checking out books by diverse authors, then publishers will put out more. It’s a pretty simple equation. And it starts with deliberately seeking out authors of color, by specifically paying attention to race instead of ignoring it like you’ve been taught your whole life. If you haven’t been consciously seeking out diverse authors, then take a second to look at your bookshelves.”

It’s pride month, and you can take a simple quiz to start your diverse reading here.

We also have recommendations for Black authors, Asian authors, and Latinx authors, and it’s extremely easy to start reading diversely today if you want to.

Happy Reading!