Are ARCs Worth It?
If you follow my blog, you probably already know that I read a lot of ARCs. I downloaded my first book from NetGalley back in 2013 and haven’t looked back. I am very grateful to the publishers for every book that they have been kind enough to send my way.
But there are some drawbacks…
- Added Stress – ARCs can add a lot of stress to my reading schedule. It can be a real stretch to get books read by the publication date and it doesn’t always happen. When I don’t get a book read in time, I feel guilty because it seems that I didn’t live up to expectations.
- Purchased Books are Ignored – This is a big problem for me right now. I own so many books that I really want to read. I spent hard-earned money on them and I want to give them the attention they deserve. I keep buying more books but I read only a few of them simply because I feel like I have to read my giant pile of ARCs instead.
- Makes Mood Reading Difficult – I can be a bit of a mood reader. Years ago, one of my favorite parts of being a reader was picking out a book from my collection after finishing one. I never had a reading schedule or a plan. One of the reasons I started the Books from the Backlog feature was so that I have a weekly excuse to browse my shelves. Because of my review obligations, I often ignore my moods just so I can get a book read by its publication date and I often wonder if I might have liked the book more if I had been in the mood for it.
- Takes Some of the Fun Out of Reading – I read and blog because I enjoy it. But there are times where it feels like a job. A demanding job that I spend a lot of time on and one that is unpaid. Getting books read and reviews written as close to the publication date as possible takes a lot of effort. If I didn’t have so many ARCs to fit into the review schedule, I could slow down the pace a bit. Don’t get me wrong, I love it but it does exhaust me at times.
There are obviously some pretty big benefits to ARCs as well. I love that feeling of excitement when I am able to get an early copy of a book that I am desperate to read. There has been more than one happy dance that has broken out spontaneously when a book arrives on my doorstep or an approval email hits my inbox. I am really honored to think that anyone even cares about my opinion on some of these books.
I don’t think that I will stop reading and reviewing ARCS but I am trying to be more mindful when accepting these books.
What do you think? Are ARCs worth it to you?