A bookstore in Ohio purposefully shelves works written by men backwards

Books by male authors shelved backwards. Photo

A used and rare books store in Cleveland, Ohio is celebrating Women’s History Month in style. In order to give prominence to women writers, Loganberry Books decided to shelve around 10,000 books of general fiction and poetry penned by male authors backward so that their spines faced inward. That leaves only the spines of books by women facing forward.

Harriett Logan, the bookstore’s founder and owner, told Heat Street: ‘Pictures are loud communicators. So we are in essence not just highlighting the disparity but bringing more focus to the women’s books now, because they’re the only ones legible on the shelf.’

Photo: Loganberry Bookstore/Facebook

The display is ‘a metaphor of silencing the male voice’ in a month that highlights the contributions of women to events in history and contemporary society.

Logan explained: ‘To give the floor and attention to women, you need to be able to hear them. And if someone else is talking over them, that just doesn’t happen.’

The disparity between male and female authors speaks to historical biases in the publishing world, which comes down to a lack of opportunity rather than a lack of talent or interest. Loganberry’s art piece emphasizes the concrete impact centuries of bias have had on society’s ability to read books written by women.

Loganberry Books offers a few more Women’s History Month events throughout the month of March, including a special sale slated for International Women’s Day.

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Tinashe Mushakavanhu

Tinashe Mushakavanhu

Notes on literature, media & technology.