Saturday, May 21, 2016

ARCs: A Discussion

Today, I want to talk about ARCs. I'm sure every book blogger or author or reviewer ever has heard of ARCs, and many of them probably have tons to say about this topic.

When I first started my blog, I had no desire to review ARCs. At the time, I barely understood what ARCs were, and I didn't quite understand how much of a big deal they were in the book blogging community. But I quickly learned that they are REALLY REALLY IMPORTANT.

After a year of blogging, how do I feel about ARCs? Pretty indifferent to be honest. I'm not against them for sure, but do I want them? Not really. They sound like a lot of work I don't have time for, and they don't even sound all that good.

I know, I know, I sound insane. What kind of bibliophile doesn't want free books? FREE BOOKS FOR GOD'S SAKE. Well.. ME.

Why I don't want ARCs:

I'm very picky when it comes to what books I buy and what books I read. Most (and I mean more than half) of the books I've read this year have an LGBT main character. I'm in the kind of position right now where I don't want to read anything else. I don't have an unlimited time to read, and I don't want to have to read a book just because I have to get a review out. I rarely do reviews in the first place because they honestly aren't my favorite part of talking about books. I only do them when I have feelings about a book that I have to get out there on the Internet.

What would I rather talk about? I want to talk about diversity in YA and the messages books send to readers. How love actually works and how it isn't they way books and movies portray it. How people aren't actually good or bad. How there are so many different kinds of people in this world and only reading the books on the New York Times Bestsellers list won't introduce you to all of them. I want to read specific books that help me with these kinds of discussions rather than just whatever book I can get for free.

Especially as a relatively new blogger, I can't exactly be picky if I want to receive ARCs. But I can be picky if I look for books that deal with specific mental disorders, genders, sexual orientations, races, cultures, nationalities, etc. I've basically cut books with straight, cisgender, white, American, mentally stable main characters out of my TBR, at least for the time being. If I really wanted free ARCs, I'd basically have to stop being that picky, and I refuse.

Would I say yes if someone offered me an ARC or a book for review? Depends. If it's actually a book that sounds good and meets my now expectation of diversity, I might even give it a try. Well, maybe. Definitely not during the school year because I have zero time for anything then, but maybe if it was over the summer. But would I ever request one? Absolutely not. I don't have that much desire for them, so I'm not going to ask. Any ARCs I would actually really want I probably couldn't get. Also, the social anxiety issue. That fear of being embarrassed and judged. I can't.

In a more simple form:

  • I'm too picky.
  • I don't have time.
  • People scare me.
  • I don't like reviewing.
  • I'd rather talk about literally anything else.



  1. I agree. And when a book feels like homework it makes it so much less enjoyable.

    1. True! Reading books that you really want to read is so much better. Thanks for the comment!