I feel like I’m getting somewhat spoiled for books.
When I was a teenager I used to read sci fi/fantasy and often the female characters would be non-existent or underdeveloped, there’d be casual sexism/racism/ableism etc., there’d be zero MOGAI characters, it’d always be from a white, western perspective… and that was just how it was.* Putting up with this most of the time was just the price of getting to read a decent amount of spec fic.
But now after a while of reading Zen Cho, Aliette de Bodard, NK Jemisin and Nnedi Okorafor** among others, and actively seeking out other non-white-male authors, my expectations have risen dramatically. I’ve gotten a lot more picky about my books.
I’m not sure if this is a good thing or not. Part of me feels like I’m being overly judgemental and missing out when I give up on a good book/series. I mean, everything has its problems, and there’s nothing wrong with liking it despite then. (And there’s nothing more awkward than responding to a rec with ‘actually it made me pretty uncomfortable so I stopped reading’, unless it’s getting that response to a rec.)
But then again, if I have the alternative of reading stuff which has all of the things I liked in the other book AND is written from a perspective which is less limited and same-y and biased and uncomfortable to read - why not?
*Back then my choice was limited by what libraries had, the authors I had heard of, and mostly just not knowing how much better stuff was out there.
**FYI consider this a rec for these authors - they are awesome. Three of them have books coming out this August and I may die trying to read them all simultaneously.