Musing Mondays #5: ARCs

Posted December 10, 2013 in Discussion, Musing Mondays / 0 Comments

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Musing Mondays asks you to muse about one of the following each week…
• Describe one of your reading habits.
• Tell us what book(s) you recently bought for yourself or someone else, and why you chose that/those book(s).
• What book are you currently desperate to get your hands on? Tell us about it! 
• Tell us what you’re reading right now — what you think of it, so far; why you chose it; what you are (or, aren’t) enjoying it.
• Do you have a bookish rant? Something about books or reading (or the industry) that gets your ire up? Share it with us!
• Instead of the above questions, maybe you just want to ramble on about something else pertaining to books — let’s hear it, then!
My Musings:
Today will be all about ARCs.

First of all, when I was new to blogging (keep in mind this was only like 4 months ago) I was so excited to be getting requests from publishers who wanted me to review their books- free. I was just like- free books! Can’t say no to that! So I basically replied to every single one and got a huge stack of books. See my library post to have a look at all those ARCs still sitting on my shelf….
So quickly I figured out that I wouldn’t be able to read all of those in a reasonable amount of time. In fact, my interest in most of them waned after the initial thrill of getting it free. Such responsibility attached. I know I basically have all the time in the world, but the authors like the reviews out ASAP, preferably around the time of the official release date. That was quickly becoming impossible. I found myself only picking up the ones that seemed the most interesting, or the ones that the publishers wanted me to have read by a certain date, and ignoring the others, a lot of which were the first ones received. It wasn’t becoming fair.
So I put my foot down. I stopped requesting so many ARCs. And I stopped receiving as many emails/requests. I am perfectly satisfied with that. I still have a sizeable shelf of unread books. Actually, before blogging, I had read nearly every single book on my shelves (they were a lot smaller then, to be sure). But after that, I think the amount I’ve read became only about 60%. My eyes were too big for my stomach, so to speak. And that’s why I joined the 2014 TBR Pile Reading Challenge. I may just host a mini challenge for myself to read as many ARCs as possible in a month. So I can use that shelf space for other things- once I’ve read an ARC, it goes into its appropriate place among the other shelves.
That’s to say nothing of the eBooks and PDFs I’ve received. I’ve read most of those, it just takes considerable more motivation. It’s harder physically to read them, but it’s more convenient when I’m out of the house.

Now about the actual content of the books- I have to say I’m pretty impressed so far. It’s not what I’d pick up on my own, but it’s certainly interesting enough to hold my attention or make me think (Upload by Mark McClelland) or make me smile (Colette by Michelina Vinter). And I have found a few gems that have become favorites (Attrition by S.G. Night or The Bride of Devil’s Acre by Jennifer Kohout). From now on I’m probably going to be a little more picky, but I like the wide range of reading material I get from ARCs.

So how do you feel about ARCs? Do you have piles of unread ARCs long past their release date? How picky are you about requesting them? Share in the comments!

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