Friday, January 22, 2016

Let's Talk: Why I'm Giving Up ARCs

I'm not sure it's a secret that I am horrible at finishing ARCs before they come out. It's also not a secret that I've been dealing with a book slump on and off, Septemeber? How do these things link?
Well, you see. I'm a mood reader. I'm also the kind of person who doesn't read half the advanced copies she's granted by book genies on Netgalley and Edelweiss before they come out. On top of that, I feel intense pressure to finish my ARCs and guilt when I don't.
All this combines to make me a hot mess.
And it just makes me NOT READ.

When I force myself to pick up an ARC because it's three weeks since it came out or it's coming out the next week, and I force myself to read it even though I don't FEEL like it, 2 things happen:

1. I read it extremely slowly and then don't want to read anything else.


2. I hate something I would've otherwise loved if I'd only waited until I FELT like reading it.

So then I force myself to read an ARC OR I give myself permission to read something else. And I read that other thing but the only time I'm thinking: Shit, I need to finish this so I can get back to my ARCs. Even though I'd much rather read that 800 page fantasy book I've had on my shelf for 2 YEARS.
Even when I'm not reading ARCs I'm thinking that I SHOULD BE. I mean, I know there's nothing that says every single ARC you get HAS to be read before release date but...what's the point if it's not?
Now. The title of this post is a bit of a lie because I will still request books. But my goal now is to only request something I know what is, something I would preorder myself. No more clicking on random books and thinking, oh hey that's sounds halfway decent. Request.

So my reasons for this are simple. I don't do good under pressure. And even though there's no one yelling at me telling me I have to read these books and they have to be up by a certain day. Isn't there some unwritten honor code that says you should at least attempt to read review books before they come out??????????
When I feel that pressure to read a book by a certain date I don't want to read it. Then I force myself too and it takes me three weeks to finish it. I'm just tired of it. Even if it's all my own fault in my own head. I want to read what I want when I want it. If there's a book I want really bad, maybe I'll request it or maybe I'll just wait until it comes out. 
And it's not just ARCs. I've been killing myself over books I started and didn't finish too, not DNFs but ones I really did like and for one reason or another just wasn't in the mood for it at that time. I'm done forcing myself to read anything I don't feel like reading.
I use to finish a book and then immediately start whichever one grabbed my attention next and if I couldn't get into it, who cares?
It was onto the next one. I want to be like that again. Recently I've DNFD things, not because they weren't good and I didn't like them but because I forced myself to read them when I wasn't in the mood too.

So, from now on I'm going to stop requesting ARCs for the most part. And in general, I'm just going to try to stop getting stressed over reading and reviewing and just get back to no pressure and loving reading. It shouldn't feel like a chore, ever. So that's what I'm going to concentrate on.

Now. I have questions! If you want to chat about this, I would like to know your thoughts on ARCs. Why do you or don't you request them? Do you have a problem where you request things you aren't even all that interested in just because other people are interested or they sound halfway decent? Do you ever feel pressure to read ARCs that just puts you off reading altogether? And you master ARC readers, share your secrets! How did you get them ALL READ ON TIME without wanting to kill yourself??? Do you ever hate that you spend so much time reading or worrying about reading ARCs your other books get overlooked???

Okay. Enough questions. Let's talk. =)


  1. AWW Shay I FACE THE SAME DILEMMA AS WELL :( I'm a massive mood reader too, so I always have to wait for the right time for my mood to kick in just so I could enjoy a book. It's especially hard because, as a book blogger, I always like to talk about books, but then my mood kicks in and now I don't know what to discuss with others even if I want to talk to them about books. You get what I mean? :P Anyway, at least you're not the only one facing this. I hope you read whenever you can, and don't stress about it too!!

  2. I don't request them like I used to. I only get blog tour ARCs via Netgalley or Edelweiss. I have to read more of my own books, so it's less ARCs for me this year.

  3. I LOVE this! Your GIF usage is on point :D And I feel you. You should see my ARC schedule- it is obscene, honestly. I haven't read a book I purchased in so long, it's really sad! I have a ton of pre-orders just collecting dust.

    Here's the thing that makes us different though: for some reason, having that deadline kind of makes me read more, and more decisively. But it IS still stressful. Especially when I look at my little ARC chart and see that I have 18 February books and 17 March books. Like, really? What is my malfunction?

    So yeah, while I am requesting, I DO actually take time to consider how badly I want to read the book- and most of the time (like, 98% at least) it is a book I REALLY wanted to read. The thing is, of course not all of those are going to be huge wins. And then I find that I want to read ALL the books. I am now trying to NOT request books that come out after BEA until AFTER BEA. Last year I ended up with a bunch of requested eARCs and my BEA books, and it was silly!

    So I say, good for you! I like that you know what works for you- and more importantly, what doesn't! Good luck, my dear! ♥

  4. With my new blog I decided to not do ARCS, heck I'm not even writing traditional reviews because I don't enjoy doing them :) I'm now blogging the way I want to blog, and not putting pressure on myself to blog a certain way, because it's what's 'expected' as a book blogger (how I blogged before, which caused my old blog to implode and be deleted). I'm also a big mood reader, so I know exactly what you're talking about! I've gone so far as deleting my GR account, doing away with my TBR list, no longer setting reading goals/participating in reading challenges because darn it, I just want to read when I feel like it, and read what I feel like reading! I'm experimenting with 'free range' reading this year, and so far I LOVE it!

  5. Sounds like this is going to be a great thing for you. I can totally understand what you mean by forcing yourself to read. I started DNFing more and that helped me. I think I need the pressure to get things read so I will read faster. I do the reading/reviewing the week of the release date. I think better late then never. I did keep a month completely ARC free so I could get to these pre-orders and highly recommended books I have been meaning to read. I am really excited to get to March and read those books I already own.

  6. Yes! I totally get what you're saying! I feel intense pressure to hurry up and read certain books. Then, I get a book I really want to read and I have to wait! I usually have a schedule of books for the month, but another blogger came up with a great solution that I will try in February: She has categories of books: On the shelf TBR, ARCs, library books, etc. She has a goal of reading a certain number of books from each category, not specific books. I think this will put less pressure on me to read particular books. Best wishes with your reading.

  7. Yes, yes, yes to everything you said. I kind of made the same decision/resolution/whatever at the beginning of the year. I felt like because of ARCs I was spending too much time reading * okay * books instead of reading the books on my shelves that I was truly exited about. It's not like I was ever a huge requester anyway, but still... I'm scaling back significantly. I decided that 2016 was all about me reading exactly what I want to read, when I want to read it. Who needs the stress of ARCs? lol

    Tanya @ Girl Plus Books

  8. This is a great post and something that I have struggled with. When I first started NetGalley and started my blog, I requested EVERYTHING. I was just so addicted to free books. I quickly became overwhelmed and realized I needed a new strategy. Now there are books that I request that I wouldn't necessarily preorder, but that's only because I save preorders for books that I absolutely HAVE TO HAVE IMMEDIATELY. I have cut back on my ARCs though by only requesting the ones that I am genuinely interested in. So now, if there is one that only sounds mildly interesting and I don't really care whether I get it or not, I skip it. I completely understand why you would want to skip out on most of them. It can be a lot of pressure!

  9. Like you, I am also a mood reader and for that reason I don't request ARC's. I just don't like the pressure and the deadlines. There's nothing worse than forcing yourself to read a book because I find that I am just not as in to it as I would like to be. It's like there's a countdown ticking away when I have an ARC to read so instead of savoring the book I feel like I'm in more of a rush to finish it. Basically I will only request and ARC if it's a book I am eagerly anticipating.

  10. YAY SHAY. I'm glad you're focusing on the books you WANT to read! For me, I try not to request the ones that I am not interested in at all, but let's be honest, the shiny new releases get to me sometimes. Which is why I request the ones that interest me in the first place. I usually will not request something just because it's super popular, or others are interested in it, especially when it is contemporary (my least favorite genre). Though this year, I am trying to branch out of my comfort zone, and many of the 2016 releases really intrigue me, so I will most likely request them, or preorder!

    I kind of feel pressure to read all the ARCs I requested, but then I do have some September/October 2015 ARCs which I have completely given up on (maybe). I think that even if you read and review them months (cough years) later, it still helps with publicity and the likes. This might be why I'm not a master ARC reader LOL. But I try! I guess the secret is to just suck it up and read the book before the release date, and make sure you have time to do so? I mean, I don't have them ALL READ, so I can't really answer this accurately LOL. And I guess other books will get overlooked, but I'll get to them one day!

    Awesome post Shay! Good luck on the no ARC requesting!