2018 Resolution Fail: Too Many ARCs

Reading Advance Review Copies (ARCs) is one of the fun parts of being a book blogger.  You get free books and you get to read things before everyone else.  It’s also a nice way to discover new writers and support their work.

But I know I’m not the only book blogger who gets bogged down from time to time.  Last year I requested way too many ARCs and ended up having to spend most of my time for a few months juggling deadlines.  When you get too many, all with similar publication dates, it takes a lot of the pleasure and spontaneity out of reading.  But if I request an ARC, it’s important that I honor that commitment, and that means trying to post a review as close to the publication date as possible.

I use NetGalley the most, and Edelweiss sometimes.  The trouble is you get turned down for some requests, so it’s hard to know how many to request at one time.  And it’s my own fault that I didn’t pay close enough attention to the publication dates of what I was requesting.

Still, this year I meant to be more deliberate.  At the beginning of the year I looked up some good “best fiction to be published in 2018” lists, like one from Huffington Post, and one from the Guardian.  I read through those lists, marked the ones I thought I’d like, and searched for them on NetGalley.  I felt good about being so proactive.

And yet, somehow, I ended up with six books all with publication dates in early to mid-March.  I can’t read six books in half a month.  And I find I’m spending more time looking at which books are shortest rather than which ones I really want to read.

And then there are the review requests I receive by email.  I generally limit myself to accepting one a month.  But I don’t even have time for that right now.

The good news?  When March is over, I’m out of my NetGalley quicksand – I’ve got one April read and one June read.  And yet I still find myself browsing through NetGalley’s listings.

Book bloggers, what’s your approach to receiving ARCs?  How many do you like to read, and where do you get them from?  And how do you keep from getting overwhelmed?

  7 comments for “2018 Resolution Fail: Too Many ARCs

  1. March 12, 2018 at 10:59 am

    I’ve forced myself to avoid looking at Net Galley so far this year. I do like the opportunity to read new authors but I don’t like the pressure of have no to read by a certain time. Besides I have far too many books already so I don really need to look for any more just yet.

  2. March 12, 2018 at 1:16 pm

    I’m horribly overwhelmed at the moment just from the proof copies that come into the shop. I try to take both the ones that I want to read and the ones that I know are going to be big when published, and that I therefore SHOULD read. It’s definitely making me a bit panicky, though. And I’m about to move…

  3. March 13, 2018 at 8:18 pm

    I very much feel you on requesting too many ARCs and suddenly finding that you have so much homework to do. And I don’t want this to be homework. Like you said, it can be hard to plan because you don’t know what you’ll get approved for. I need to go on NetGalley breaks

  4. March 18, 2018 at 3:27 am

    I have a really hard time balancing reading review copies, library books, and books I’ve had on my shelves since at least last year! I actually kind of like having reading deadlines, because otherwise I can feel overwhelmed by all the options, but I do sometimes end up with too many review copies or too many library books and reading the thing that’s the due next can be incompatible with what I’m in the mood to read or with other reading goals, like getting through the backlist books I own. I’m constantly re-evaluating that balance, so I don’t really have specific advice for handling all the ARCs!

  5. March 22, 2018 at 4:55 pm

    Ha ha … I said I wasn’t going to get review books in 2018, but then I realized that so many of the books I’m looking forward to are on NetGalley and the requesting begun! I think I have 6 books to read for April, one more left for March, plus maybe half a dozen or so physical books I need to read that were sent by publishers. I might have to make an ARC week to try and catch up!

    • March 23, 2018 at 8:12 am

      You have more than I do! I’m looking forward to getting unburied and reading a few books just for pleasure. But I do feel I’ve requested some really good reads and I’m looking forward to the ones that remain.

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