#AnyBookAnyBody: Gender and Reading

Martin Reed

Martin Reed

Martin leads the SoA's Communications team. He oversees our strategic communications and campaign-based activities, including PR, social media, events and partnerships.

4 March 2015

Let Toys Be Toys (LTBT) launched the Let Books Be Books campaign last World Book Day asking publishers to take the ‘boys’ and ‘girls’ labels off books and allow children to choose their interests for themselves.

Since then eight publishers have committed to publishing no more gender-labelled titles. We have been talking to LTBT about the ways books can often be marketed, sometimes against the wishes of their authors, to appeal to specific genders and would like your thoughts.

As authors – are you concerned that children are missing out on great titles because of gender assumptions? Does gendered marketing work for your titles or do you think you lose readers? Have your school visits been affected? Have only girls or boys or girls been invited to your general school-events?

As readers – do you have a son or a grandson that discovered a love of reading through ‘girly’ Rainbow Magic or Malory Towers? Have you recently enjoyed a book that you would have dismissed as a child?

Please contact Jo McCrum or Let Toys Be Toys (or leave a public comment below) if you’d like to get involved or send a supportive statement for future campaigns.

Starting on World Book Day we’re asking everyone to share examples of books they’ve enjoyed that perhaps didn’t fit other people’s (or their own!) expectations of what boys and girls (or men and women), are ‘supposed’ to like.

Please join in from 5 March with the hashtag #anybookanybody – remember to tag @lettoysbetoys and @Soc_of_Authors as well.  

24 May 2023

Celebrating the gamut of prose, poetry and children’s literature, across 11 awards, including the inaugural ADCI (Authors with Disabilities and Chronic Illnesses) Literary Prize shortlist

11 May 2023

Celebrated crime writer announced as keynote speaker for annual Society of Authors’ Awards ceremony on 29 June

10 May 2023

Following a vote by authors in Wales, we welcome Cath Barton and Aaron Kent to the SoAiW steering committee. We thank outgoing committee member Alison Layland for all her hard work