It has always bothered me that the very idea of paying attention to or knowing Indian history is tinged with the soft compassion of the do-gooder, as a kind of voluntary public service, like volunteering at an after-school program. But if we treat Indian stories this way, we do more than relegate Indians to history—as mattering only in relation to America’s deep and sometimes dark past. We also miss the full measure of the country itself. If you want to know America—if you want to see it for what it was and what it is—you need to look at Indian history and at the Indian present.
David Treuer, The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee.
The point Treuer makes here applies with equal force to reading any “diverse” literature and history. Don’t read diverse books because you “should” or because you’re “doing the work” or whatever moralistic justification you want to apply. Read them because they are part of the story of America and of the world—and not an unimportant or niche part either—and because they are great books.