While I sometimes talk about various things that could be construed from the outside as “how autism affects me”, it’s truly not the main focus of this blog. I think a lot of people have seen me in the media and assumed that’s my main purpose. It’s not. It’s just one of the functions that disabled people, and even more so autistic people, are frequently portrayed as having in the world. I do a little of it, but not as much as many people want.
However, there are a number of other autistic people who have been quite willing to make that sort of information the main focus of their writing.
And I’ve always had a thing for collecting things.
One thing I collect is books by autistic people.
Originally I did this out of loneliness. I was completely isolated where I lived, and I wanted to know other people who had similar experiences to mine. I also found that I could get to know people who had different experiences to mine that way too. Not fully get to know, since as I’ve noted many times, you can’t completely get to know a person from their public writing. But get to know enough to ease the sensation that I was the only one like me in certain respects.
I started getting a lot of questions over the years about how to find books by autistic people on specific topics. I would answer them to the best of my ability, but I started to think this process should be automated. I eventually wanted to create an online place where people would be able to search on a number of characteristics. These characteristics can include characteristics of the author, audience of the book, subjects the book covers, focus of the book, and so forth.
The problem is, giving information to me about the book and then having me search for books with that characteristic is easy. Going through books and writing down al their characteristics is very difficult. I am rather stereotypical for a hyperlexic person, in that my immediate reading comprehension is not that good. I can’t just slow down and look for topics, because I don’t really understand books when I first read them. The understanding that leads me to be relatively good at being a human card catalog comes slowly and does not happen consciously.
So basically, I’d like to leave this page out here for people to make requests to find various books. Keep in mind that due to financial constraints I don’t have every single one of the latest books, this collection business is a slow one. Also keep in mind that while I have a lot of books by autistic people, I only have a few books by non-autistic people in my collection. Maybe I will start a list of books I do have just so you will know (I have a much larger list, but I want to make a smaller list of just these books).
Keep in mind, also, that if a book only has one or two chapters by autistic people, I might not know as much about it, but you could try.
So, feel free to ask for books by autistic people on any topic. I will do my best to find them. Be aware that unless you ask for personal recommendations from me, I will show you books I don’t like as much as I show you books I do. You can ask about characteristics of the author, books by a particular author in general, dates of publication, topics the book covers, even the color of the cover (in whatever edition I have), and any number of things, and I’ll try to find them. You can also describe a book that you read at some point, and I’ll try to tell you which ones it might be. Consider me a long-distance librarian at a place where you’d have to buy the books yourself, or something.
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Note: There were too many comments for me to edit all the broken links out of them. So please don’t try to follow links in these comments (including the “Reply” links) because they won’t help you.