Discussion: ARC Life (the actually really great flip side)

Last week Peekaboo did a really wonderful guest post about ARC life (or why being a rabid book fan is actually really hard sometimes). In her post Peekboo makes some really great points, and I included some thoughts of my own at the end, especially about stress and burnout. (Especially as I sit here looking at my list of 74 digital egalleys that I need to somehow get through… and that doesn’t even include the physical ARCs… and all I really want to do is reread Howl’s Moving Castle…)

Anyway, I thought this week I’d take a look at this flip side, and all the ways being a “rabid book fan” can be so amazing too – because there are a lot of really great things about buried under a mountain of ARCs! 
For starters, with close to 100 books on my ARC TBR, and more available to request EVERY DAY, I am spending a lot less money on books. Which of course means I have more money to spend on bookish swag like bookmarks, candles, scarves printed with the opening chapters of Alice in Wonderland, outfits coordinated to Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw colors… Don’t get me wrong, reviewing ARCs is WORK – diligently reading books (which is mostly a labor of love but sometimes is really WORK to keep plowing through) and writing up GOOD reviews and cross-posting them to retailers, and formatting and posting them to blogs… But the upside is basically a “will work for books” sign around your neck, which means less money spent on books. (For me at least, or my ARC TBR will eat me.)
Another great thing is getting to read highly anticipated books early! I got access to Lenora Bell’s newest book months before it was released! …OK, I didn’t get around to actually reading it until about a month and a half before the release date, at which point it had been sitting on my Kindle for at least a month growling at me to read it along with the rest of my ARCs, but still! It was there! And sometimes there’s one that I must read right now and I’ll get access granted quickly and I can just gobble it down on the spot. (The downside of this is that often you’ll read a blurb for a book that won’t be released for a good 4-6 months out, and if you’re declined for an ARC you need to wait for FOREVERRRRRR to buy it.) 
I’m also finding that I’m more willing to try books outside of my usual genres when requesting ARCs, which has led me to discover some great books that never would have crossed my radar otherwise. For example, I just finished Grilled Cheese and Goblins by Nicole Kimberling which is a sort of Urban Fantasy paranormal detective novel I’d have never picked up, but really enjoyed. I also just got approved for a mystery/suspense novel, Consumed by J.R. Ward, something totally outside my normal wheelhouse but a book I’m really excited about. I find I’m more likely to try new genres and even authors because there’s less risk. If I don’t like a book I just DNF it or leave a review saying why I didn’t care for it, and the only thing I’m out is my time. 
And finally, with almost 100 books on my ARC TBR, even when I’m feeling at my most mood-reader-iest, I have such a variety of books to choose from that I can pretty much find something that I feel like reading on my ARC TBR. And if I can’t, I’m trying to be kind to myself about reading something NOT on my ARC TBR and remembering that non-ARC books are people too… Or, well, they’re not people, they’re books… Oh, you know what I mean. 🙂 

4 comments

  1. I think I am more willing to take a chance on an author or a book, when the book is free as well. Though, I am more cautious now, because late approvals and too many requests have left me with a lot of review books, and I like to mix it up with some backlist every now and then.

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