Don’t decolonize your library

I recently learned of an author who urged her audience to immediately go home and “decolonize your bookshelf.” Presumably, she intended her hearers to remove books from their collection based upon the race and sex of the author.

turned on floor lamp near sofa
Photo by Ricardo Esquivel on

I’d like to suggest that such an approach is ill-advised and almost anti-intellectual.

A better alternative is to seek out significant, valuable works by a wide range of authors. After all, diversity of race and sex doesn’t alone guarantee a worthwhile library. It’s possible to collect a library of pablum using such criteria.

Better to recognize the value of diverse authorities across the centuries and across the continents. Better to avoid the tyranny of now.


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