Women's History Month

This Bookstore’s Clever Way Of Celebrating Women’s History Month Also Makes An Important Point

An eye-opening look at the gender gap in the literary world.

For the first two weeks of Women's History Month, Loganberry Books near Cleveland, Ohio is shelving all the works by male authors backwards, with their pages instead of their spines facing out, as a visual statement of the continued gender disparity in literature and fiction. 

Loganberry Books owner Harriet Logan told Buzzfeed she's someone who makes an effort to stock works by female authors, but still, 10,000 books of fiction and poetry were flipped in her store on March 1st in a process that took 2 hours. 

"I want people to think: Is the gender gap really this uneven, and why? What does my personal library look like? What can be done to change this imbalance? And then go find a title by a female author you may or may not be familiar with — it's easy to find them — and give it a try," Logan told Buzzfeed.

While more women read fiction and literature than men, manuscripts submitted with a male name are more likely to receive responses than when submitted under a female name. From 2000-2014, none of the winners of the Pulitzer Prize for fiction were written about women or told from a woman's perspective.  

Logan estimates that women authored 37 percent of the works of fiction in her shop. For a new customer, entering a bookstore where 63 percent of the titles have been placed with the spines facing inward can be a bit of a shock.

"The customer response has been fantastic and warm," Logan said. "Many people just stand there looking at the space, shaking their heads."

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