Back to Bookish Basics


Image: part of my bowing bookshelf.

Regular readers will have noticed the last couple of reviews I have done – well, any reviews since mid-August – have been NetGalley ARCs. Until then I was reading whatever book took my fancy/seemed interesting/is deemed important and while I have still be reading those, I have not been blogging about them.

A few weekends ago – in a moment of emotional despair – I read My Mad Fat Teenage Diary, Oranges are not the Only Fruit and Eleanor & Park in one sitting. It was glorious, it completely lifted my mood, but I still haven’t blogged about it.

Why? Due to my (ridiculous) unemployment I have had eons of free time to read, in fact I am reading more than I can review. Technically, that probably cannot be seen as anything to complain about, but I am being completely honest when I say I would rather have a job than all this free time. I need to be employed; I need the direction and I need the mental stimulation. I probably need the social interaction as well, but as I have clearly decided to become a penniless house-hermit I will suppress that.

This does not mean that I don’t enjoy ARCs or that there is no merit to blogs that focus on them. I have discovered some fantastic books recently, which I would not have known about if not for NetGalley. In addition, I read a lot of wonderful blogs that review ARCs and I thoroughly enjoy them – I wouldn’t have found Rainbow Rowell without them! However, I feel when I blog continuously about ARCs I am projecting a shiny veneer beneath which I lack depth. I didn’t begin blogging for high stats or lots of free books, it was to discuss reading with a like-minded group of people, and I feel like I have been focusing on the former – I need balance.

Thus, I have decided to calm down my NetGalley requests and reclaim that balance – perhaps a 60/40 split in favour of already published books.

Consider this a return to normal broadcasting….., well, until you read my post on Booktubing and Podcasts anyway.

What’s your balance between ARCs and other books?

6 thoughts on “Back to Bookish Basics

  1. *Hug*

    Recently, well, in terms of how long I’ve been blogging it’s recent, I realised I wasn’t reading enough of ‘my own’ books. This isn’t Netgalley related (in fact in a way I think Netgalley books might be easier in this way) but when I received email pitches I was always giving a rough date of when the person could expect a review. This put a lot of pressure on me and stopped me adding my own books into the mix – and reading books that aren’t ARCs is important to motivation. So now I give a very very rough date or none at all. This creates a balance by itself, in my reading and on the blog. And I tend to read the ARCs quicker, too.

    ARCs are great, but you’d be doing a disservice not only to yourself but the publisher if you’re restricting your reading, because ultimately it could affect your opinion of the book. Netgalley can be great for timing, I’ve still books to read that have been available for months. Then at other times you have a couple of weeks before it disappears 😦


    1. Thank you 🙂 Things are looking up a little, but still no employment, blegh.

      Sounds like you’ve come up with a really good plan so you don’t feel overwhelmed.

      Completely agree on Netgalley, I just somehow manage to request the huge books that all expire at once, like a fool. It has some great stuff, but you are right if I only read ARCs it would be detrimental to my reading and my interpretations / analysis.


  2. I hate job searching, so I wish you the best of luck with that,

    I have approximately a two to one ratio. I read two arcs and one older book, at least it works out roughly to that. Sometimes I have a whole load of new books to deal with and other times it’s pretty quiet on that front. I have, as of late, been exercising my iron will in regards to Netgalley. I did not request anything in the month of September. I was actually quite proud of that. Of course, reading all the others blogs causes me to add more books to my TBR stack anyway…

    There’s no winning, but there are worse things than wanting to read. 🙂


    1. Thanks hun 🙂

      You’ve got a good balance too, I think I would need to reverse yours to be happy – two of my own books to every ARC.

      Yay for iron will, good for you abstaining. I requested a few more since this blog, sigh. However, you are right, of all the things to be overwhelmed by, reading is a pretty good one.


  3. Poor you to be job searching! That is such a stress, and I hope you are being kind to yourself.

    I read way more ARCs than I did before I got a NetGalley account, but I still try to keep a good balance between those and the rest of my reading. When I get too obsessed with NetGalley, I sometimes forget about all the amazing books that are already published and do not come with reviewing obligations that will make me feel guilty if I do not meet them.


    1. Thank you 🙂

      I’m finding reading either way hits me in waves, one month I am more about other books then suddenly I’ll get an urge for Netgalley for a month.

      It’s interesting that Netgalley has actually lead you to read less ARCs!


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