Remember that time like a month ago, when everyone was making New Year’s resolutions, and thinking about the direction they wanted their blog and/or reading goals to go in for 2016? Sure you do, like I said, it was like, mere days ago basically. I’ve noticed that so, so many people’s lists included either scaling back on ARCs, or even ditching them altogether.
But wait! These bookish folks had some awesome points! Things like:
- Reading all the backlist titles they have sitting on their shelves. (I know a thing or two about that….)
- Mood reading whatever and whenever they damn well feel like it.
- Variety! They can include lots of different genres, publication dates, whatever on their blogs.
- No pressure. Who cares if it takes them two weeks to read a chapter? They can be done whenever they damn well please!
So what is my malfunction? Why I am saying that I don’t even care and I still plan to read all the ARCs in 2016? I figured I’d let you all know- because no one wants to feel like the only one who isn’t jumping on the ARCless Airplane!
1. I Need the Structure
If you’ve been here a time or two, you probably know that I am the worst at organization and decision making and things of that nature. Back when I was too afraid to request books, I used to stand at look at my bookcase- this is a true story- and/or my Kindle, and just stare. For like, a long time. Everything looked appealing, but nothing looked appealing enough. It was too overwhelming. I tried the TBR Jar, but I just got mad at whatever I picked and then kept picking again until I was back at square one looking at the shelf.
Now, I have a system! And I kind of love it. Yes, I am overwhelmed at times, but that is my own fault. I give myself a few books to choose from in a particular date range, and it’s much easier to narrow down. And the knowing that I already chose it when I requested it gives me more confidence in the decision.
Also, I am pretty sure that picking books should not be this difficult? Like, if I were normal?
2. They’re SHINY!
Look, there’s something about new things that make them more exciting than existing things. I don’t know why, it probably has something to do with cave people or evolution or something, I don’t know, I am not exactly Charles Darwin over here. But the point is, for some reason, a newly published book is somehow inherently more exciting than a book that’s been sitting on your shelf for two years. I cannot help it, it’s science.
3. I Do My Homework
I was pretty used to buying all the books. I didn’t even really check into them that much, if it looked kind of good, I bought it. That left me feeling… meh. But when I request a book, I take it seriously. Yes, I probably over-request, but, I can also say with certainty that I never request on a whim. I kind of agonize over it, to be honest. (See #1 for “poor decision making ability”.)
There are reasons for this. I don’t like sending negative reviews to publishers, or authors, or whoever, so I want to pick books I am pretty sure I’ll like. Also, who actively tries to read crappy books? I don’t think that’s a thing…. Plus, let’s be real: I want all the books, so I have to narrow it down. The ones I end up requesting are the elite picks, basically. Which means there’s actually a better chance that I will like them than the ones I have bought in the past.
4. At the Same Time, I Get to Go in Blind
See, after I request a book, I literally do not look at the synopsis again. I want to not know anything, because I feel it works better for me. So by reading a book before it’s being talked about in all the places, I don’t have to worry too much about things being spoiled- I’d have to actively look at reviews and such. In fact, some of the backlist books that I am hesitant to read is because they were spoiled.
5. I know I am going to read them
See, I have pre-orders from 2013 that I haven’t read. Oops? Goes back to that “new and shiny” business, I guess. But with an ARC, I know I am going to read it- there’s really no other option. I am not saying I won’t DNF it, although historically I am an awful DNFer, but I am going to give it a go, 99% of the time (an exception being if I heard awful things about it- something I knew was a deal breaker- because no one needs me to read and hate it and give it a crappy review.) So basically, it’s the perfect way to be sure that I will actually read my most anticipated books!
6. Because… Books.
That’s kind of what it all comes down to, right? What works best for each of us. I mean, certainly it would not be great if every single bookperson stopped reading advanced copies cold turkey, right? Nor would it be good if no one read books published before 2015. So… you do you!
I like reading ARCs- and I feel like I am super respectful of the process, too- so I am going to do it, as long as it works for me. And if one New Year’s Eve, I find myself thinking “meh, over it”, I’ll let you know 🙂