Let’s Discuss – The Irresistible Pull of ARCs

Posted January 14, 2015 by Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction in Let's Discuss / 70 Comments

2015 Discussion Challenge3

Let’s face it. I have plenty of books to read. I don’t need more. Really, shouldn’t the shelves full of books be enough to satisfy me? But then I go to an event or click onto NetGalley or Edelweiss … and there are all these books. They’re calling to me. It’s like there’s a magnetic pull, and I can’t resist them …

Magnet Eating

At BEA, I felt like I was really using restraint. I was making an effort to only pick up books that I was genuinely interested in and that I was 99% sure I would read (or I did pick up some that my kids would read – that I intended to read along with them, but that hasn’t happened as much as I’d hoped). I still came back with way too many books, apparently, because I haven’t read them all. Some of them I haven’t read because when reviews started rolling in, they just weren’t all that positive. Some of them I just haven’t gotten to. Sigh.

Then there’s NetGalley and Edelweiss. In the past, I hadn’t really used Edelweiss much. Unlike NetGalley, the interface isn’t all that intuitive (or attractive), and I think I just didn’t want to deal with it. But, then, every once in a while, I would see that someone got a book on Edelweiss that I really wanted, so I would head over there and request it.

The other day, I went to Edelweiss and requested a book – and realized something. I’m auto-approved for Harper Teen books. Auto. Approved. This is wonderful – and, oh so dangerous. Don’t get me wrong – I’m not complaining or anything, but Harper Teen has about a bajillion books listed on Edelweiss (okay, more like 67) – and most of them look awesome. And all I have to do to gain the privilege of reading them is to click on a little button …

Now, I could just as easily read these books after publication. I don’t even have to buy them – most Harper Teen books can be found at my local library. But there’s still work involved there – they aren’t just sitting in a row, asking me to pick them up!

So, here’s my dilemma. I picked up a few of the books that I knew I definitely wanted to read (you can see a list of them HERE), but I want to get so many more. You all need to talk me out of this. Please. I’m feeling that pull again – but this time I think I might be the little magnet and the books are threatening to swallow me whole!

Here are some that look particularly good to me. Anybody know anything about these books? Or the authors? I’m limiting myself to three (at least until I’ve read them all). Which one’s do I need to read? (The covers link up to Goodreads.)

City LoveEmmy & OliverPaperweightBetween Us and the MoonBetween the NotesUntitled-4The Cost of All ThingsMade You UpThe Improbable Theory of Ana & ZakThe Secrets of AttractionA Sense of the InfiniteInvincible_tagline_final.indd99 Daysdistancebetween_final cover_4_1.indd

At the end of the month, I’m heading to ALA Mid-winter, and I know that there will be even more pretty ARCs to tempt me. (Anybody else going to be there? Let me know!). I need to give myself a strict cut-off and stick to it. I can do it!! (I think.)

Are you able to resist the pull of ARCs? Have you ever turned down an ARC and then been really sorry? Accepted too many ARCs and been just as sorry? I want to know!


70 responses to “Let’s Discuss – The Irresistible Pull of ARCs

  1. I totally have this problem!!! I mean, someone sends me an ARC? My first instinct is to say “YES!!!!” But then I seriously need to think again if I will actually want to read it or will it really seem like work. Ugh the life of an avid book reader!

  2. I know the feeling, girl! If an ARC is there for the taking, it’s SO hard not to. I don’t get that many, and even am I starting to feel overwhelmed.

    Hmmm. If I were you I would *definitely* pick Emmy and Oliver. Robin Benway’s books are so fun! Ana & Zak looks cute too. The others I’m not sure about. 🙂

    Danielle @ Love at First Page recently posted: Waiting on Wednesday [26]
    • Yes – BEA was really my first foray into actual, physical ARCs, and it was really hard not to be hypnotized by all the pretty books. Someone else mentioned that they read Emmy & Oliver and loved it, so I think that one’s a shoo-in. Now I just have to pick the other two!

  3. I’m fairly careful about requesting ARC’s. Part of that is because I get turned down a lot. *laughs* But it’s also because I want to be able to actually read the ones I get and feel bad if I don’t get them done in time.

    I give myself a request limit for the month, like say 5-6 max. If I actually get approved for them all, then that’s it. I can’t have any more until I get all of those finished. If I don’t get approved for them all, I let myself request only the number I got denied. So in that hypothetical 5, if I got approved for 2, I’d be ‘allowed’ to request 3 others that month.

    I haven’t requested any this month because I’m still juggling work and the blog and everything else RL. But that’s usually how I limit myself. I also don’t let myself go back on NetGalley after requesting until I either get the approval e-mail or the denial e-mail. And after my books have been downloaded, I won’t open NegGalley again until I’m sending in my review. Helps to keep me from being too tempted to get in over my head!

    Don’t know anything about the books you’re choosing from, so can’t help there. Good luck? *grins*

    Silvara recently posted: Fantasy Creature Friday – Incubus!
    • It’s good to have a policy. I never had this problem before – I really didn’t go super overboard with requesting (except when I firstsigned on to NetGalley and didn’t understand how it worked). But this auto-approve thing suddenly made it so much harder for me to say no! I’m sticking with only getting three of these until I have them read and reviewed!

  4. I know the feeling all to well, the Cage & Crimson Bound called my name too with about 3 others. I just read Emmy and Oliver and you should grab that one its amaze and I’m not even that big of a contemp fan! My only rule is if I requested it I have to read it so I keep myself in check that way. Also I only ask for books in my “lane”. I just got cozy at my new home Winterhaven Books and went a bit crazy with the Harper auto approval. Ahhh Well C’est la vie
    ❤️ Britt

    • Ooh! Ooh! That’s two votes for Emmy & Oliver! And since you’ve actually read it, and I have a solid recommendation, I’ll probably go with that one! I definitely stick to books in genres I enjoy – it used to be mostly fantasy and paranormal, but in the last couple of years, since I’ve started blogging, I’ve realized that I really love contemporary too!

  5. I think any book lover feels the draw towards books! I only request from NetGalley and then only books I know I will read and I only venture towards books that are new to me if I think it might be ‘me’. Luckily I don’t live near any place where there are conferences like BEA, but I get ‘book anxiety’ when I attend a fund raising second hand book fair – and have been known to come home with far more that I can read for years! Can’t help you!!

    Kathryn@Book Date recently posted: First Frost. Sarah Addison Allen
  6. Oh you are talking to the wrong person about getting you to stop requesting so many ARC’s. I have such an addiction. You are so lucky (maybe) that you are auto approved for Harper Teen. There are so many of those books that I would love to read. Unfortunately, my request for Paperweight was declined. That looks like a great book though. Actually they all look good.

    Cynthia recently posted: BOOK REVIEW: When
    • Oooh! Thank you for the advice! I was really hoping that there would be people out there reading some of these who could give me a thumbs up or down. 🙂

  7. I feel your pain!!! I came home with 100+ books from BEA. NEVER. AGAIN. I got so excited about being a newbie blogger and printed ARCs that I couldn’t say no. Going into this year I made an ARC schedule with a max. number of ARCs per publishing month that I’d accept and gave myself wiggle room for other TBR reads. So far, so good! I’m also headed to ALA-Midwinter and I will be on an ARC acceptance budget 😉 Hope to see/meet you there!

    For HarperTeen I’ve got Emmy & Oliver, The Night We Said Yes (lots of good buzz around this one), and 99 Days. Good luck just choosing a few!

    meghann @ becoming books recently posted: [Waiting...] The Winner's Crime by Marie Rutkoski
    • Yeah, I think I came back with about 70 books from BEA. That included some MGs for my kids, but still – it turned out to be too many (even though I read over 200 books a year). Actually, my biggest problem was not planning out my reading well enough. I didn’t realize that like half the books I got were being released in September and October. SO, I got to those months and was completely overwhelmed! Now that I have new bookcases that actually fit my books, I lined them all up according to release date so that I can easily see what I have. So, hopefully that will really help me for future.

      We should definitely try to get together during ALA. I’d love to meet up with some other bloggers! I’ll contact you on Twitter when it gets closer.

  8. It must be difficult to resist the temptation just t one click all those Harper Teen books on Edelweiss. Being auto-approved can definitely be a mixed thing.
    I though it was a fun coincidence that earlier today I was on netgalley and requested a bunch of books, usually I try to stay away from there altogether, but I was there and saw all these books I wanted. I always feel a bit bad afterwards as I know I have more then enough books already that I have to read. I am almost hoping I will be rejected for some of them, so i feel less bad for requesting them all. Netgalley is usually the only place I get ARC’s and some e-ARCs directly from the author.

  9. Sam

    Oh my, do I know how you feel! I am also auto approved for Harper Teen books on Edelweiss. Just kind of happened one day and I was super excited…at first. Now, I have all these books at my fingertips, but not enough time! Like you, I already have so many books sitting on my bookshelf (and on my Kobo) unread. I have to seriously restrain myself every time I log on to Edelweiss. Seriously. It’s really hard. But, I made a rule to only review one ARC per month and it’s been working pretty well. I am able to stick to it for the most part. Every once in a while, a second slips in if I just cannot control myself. But, I think one review copy per month is a good way to go so that I’m still reading the books I own.

    Sam recently posted: Review: Captive
    • I’m definitely reading more than one a month, but I do need to figure out a number that makes sense and stick to it. Hmmm … need to analyze that.

    • Yes, I think that Made You Up had a LOT of good feedback, so that one was high on my list. I just DNF’d a book with a similar topic, though, so I was nervous about it. (Not that the two books are probably anything alike – it’s just one of those things that makes you wary.)

  10. OMG! That is so dangerous! I can see why you are kinda freaking out right now. I love the covers for those books. The only one I have heard of is Paperweight. I have been trying to stay away from netgalley and edelweiss lately. I have a similar feeling about edelweiss. Now I have to go and see if I am auto approved for anything. I have been requesting books straight from the publishers lately. I got approved for almost all the ones I requested so far, and they are actual physical books. I requested Paperweight, I just hope I get it!

    Karen Blue recently posted: WITHERING HOPE by Layla Hagen
    • Yes, I’d been thinking of requesting physical copies of some books this year – I just need to get over my issues with that and do it! 🙂

  11. I can’t be of much help here but I downloaded Paperweight, Invincible, and Made You Up! Although I’ve also considered The Secrets of Attraction and 99 Days…. honestly I’d raise it to five and go with those if it were me 😉

    I’m not auto approved, but I so know the struggle! I used to never have luck on EW, but for whatever reason I’ve finally been approved for several books, and now I really have to be careful because there’s always a chance I’ll get the yes and not expect it.

    Kayla @ The Thousand Lives recently posted: Review: This Shattered World by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner
    • Ha! Yes, well I’m tempted to raise my number to fourteen and request them all!!! (But I won’t. Won’t do it.) Thanks for your votes! 🙂

  12. Auto approval!? That is like, the holy grail, no? I try to control myself (and I have no such auto approval to worry about!) with requesting but um… I pretty much requested half of these. Actually, exactly half of these! I do REALLY want to read The Distance Between Lost and Found, but I can’t even request that one, boo! But that would be one of my 3, if I were choosing 3.

    And YES I have been very sorry that I didn’t jump on the chance to request! For so long I was too afraid to request, but now I am kicking myself. I try to be reasonable about what I request. I went a little crazy after I got over my fear (and have like, 20 February releases, but luckily got a jump on them!) but for the most part, I am pretty good. Plus, I can always anticipate a decent number of rejections, so there’s that (especially on NG, NG hates me for some reason) 😉

    The struggle is real.

    Shannon @ It Starts At Midnight recently posted: Time Management: Real or Not Real?
    • Auto-approval is the holy grail! But a very dangerous one! The only publishers I’m AA’d for on NetGalley are Little Brown Books for Young Readers (which only seems to put out a few books here and there) and a couple of smaller publishers. I don’t really know how the approval process works – sometimes it seems kind of random.

  13. I know the feeling! I have a 21% rating on NetGalley right now, and I’m auto-approved for two small publishers. The temptation is sometimes too much.

    I’ve seen The Night We Said Yes and The Distance Between Lost and Found on many Top Ten lists for 2014 books, so that’s a good indication to me that they’ve got something fabulous going on.

    • Oooh! Good point! I hadn’t paid good attention to the TTT posts that week (because I was really busy with editing). Now, I want to go back and read them! 🙂

  14. I hear ya. I have actually been a lot better at this over the past 6 months or so – only grabbing one if I MUST. HAVE. IT. Not only do I not want to overwhelm myself, I don’t want to drown in review books and potentially ruin any future relationship(s) with a publisher. I doubt this would happen, but you never know.

    When you do go on there, don’t look at the Harper books! It’s hard not to, but this helps me. 🙂

    tonyalee recently posted: Lilybloombooks Turns 2!
    • Yes, I’ve always been really good about this before – but that auto-approve thing was like a beacon I couldn’t resist. It went from, “Oh, hey, I should see what Harper Teen has out there,” to “So. Many. Good. Books,” in no time flat!

    • I’ve always been pretty good about it – but that auto-approval thing really threw me for a loop. Suddenly, it’s like I can’t help myself and I WANT them ALL!

  15. I have definitely gone overboard before on arc requesting. Luckily I’ve learned self control for the most part and I’m getting better at it all the time. As for BEA I always bring back more then I know I can read but I give plenty of those away plus I use it as an opportunity to try books I normally wouldn’t like contemporary.

    I don’t stress the edel books that I do grab so much because I figure that they hopefully didn’t cost the publishers as much to produce so if I don’t review/read all of then it’s fine.

    I do have a nice rule now that’s helping me a lot and that is not grabbing or requesting a book that I wouldn’t actually buy for myself.

    I’m jealous you’re going to ALA!

    Tabitha (Not Yet Read) recently posted: Review: Firefight by Brandon Sanderson
  16. I know nothing about any of these books, but they look very attractive! I would have a hard time resisting them if I had auto-approval. One of my blogging resolutions this year is to only request books that I KNOW I really want to read and review. I also realized that I prefer to read print books, although I love e-books for travel and if I really can’t get them any other way — so that will cut way down on my NetGalley requests.

    Lory @ Emerald City Book Review recently posted: Put the Library on Hold: Mid-month check-in
    • I used to really prefer print books, but lately I’ve found myself gravitating to my Kindle more often for some reason. I don’t know when or why the shift happened. I’ll have to analyze that and use it as a discussion post! 🙂

  17. I can super relate to this. I’ve been auto-approved for HarperTeen since last year, and many times, I tried to get ARCs that I thought I’d read, only to realize later I’ve taken more than I can chew, and until now, I haven’t even finished half of them. I have only myself to blame for that. There is always this allure of ARCs that make you excited, even when you’re not certain you’ll read them. I learned that the hard way! Now I only take like 1 or 2 whenever Harper dumps them 😉

    • Yes, that’s a much better plan. I don’t even have any idea how long I’ve been auto-approved (it might have been better when I didn’t know! LOL!)

  18. It’s SO hard. I’m exactly the same but I do have a cut off number for ARCs and when I go over it, I stop until the number is under it again. I also spend about 3 months of the year (well spread out!) on book bans. I get anxious when I have too many books and it stops the enjoyment for me. So I take a month with no new books, no review books and just work through what I have. Then when the month is over and I can one click again, I feel the newbie thrill of ARCs all over again.
    I have auto approvals on NetGalley and Edelweiss for a few publishers to I know just how hard it is to show restraint. But I try. Sometimes I fail, sometimes I win but I do try 🙂

    Trish @ Between My Lines recently posted: Book Review : Dark Triumph by Robin LaFevers
    • Yeah, I think setting a limit is a great idea. I’ll need to make sure to stay strict about it in the future! I like the idea of taking a break and then feeling excited about them again too!


    I know, ugh, HARPER TEEN BOOKS ARE ALL SO PRETTY AND LOOK SO GOOD. It’s so great that you’re auto-approved now! BUT ALSO OBVIOUSLY KIND OF TERRIBLE BECAUSE TOOOOO MANY BOOKS. I’ve heard really good things about The Night We Said Yes so far, and I love the look of Paperweight and the story it’s about (I’m quite drawn to books about eating disorders), and I recently read my first Robin Benway book and absolutely loved it so I really want to read Emmy & Oliver! OH AND THE IMPROBABLY THEORY OF ANA AND ZAK JUST LOOKS AMAZING. Geeks at Comic-Con!! But that’s basically right up my alley, I dunno about you.

    Last year I sort of just requested ARCs if I’d even vaguely heard about the book, which turned out to be a terrible idea and now I’ve decided to only request ARCs if I really, really know I want the book and that I’m definitely going to make the time for it. Like, really.

    Cynthia @ Afterwritten recently posted: Abhorsen by Garth Nix
    • Exactly – I don’t want to just accept random books just because the covers look pretty (so tempting!). This has been a great way to do it because people have experience with the books or the authors and can give me some great advice (several people have recommended Emmy & Oliver, so I think I’ll definitely be reading that one!). Thanks for your advice!

  20. There’s something about ARCs that just pull you in,huh?I suck at controlling myself when it comes to ARCs.No matter how much I tell myself,or how many books are already stacked in my kindle that I still have to finish,I can’t help but go request ARCs when I find them interesting.
    In fact,reading them all isn’t the problem,but reviewing all of them is.I hate it when reading and reviewing becomes a chore,a main reason why I should stay back from ARCs a little.

  21. This post is so true, ARCs are incredibly hard to resist! I’ve had to make myself stay away from Netgalley and Edelweiss. I hardly ever request from Edelweiss for the exact reasons you mentioned above as well as I can’t seem to figure out to navigate around without getting completely lost. lol. As far as Netgalley, I’ve limited myself on what I get, but the temptation to get more is still there!
    I’m also going to ALA Mid-Winter at the end of this month and will hopefully be able to control myself when it comes to the ARCs! :)) (but they’re right there..within reach..must resist..don’t need it..BUT..nope..BUT..oh but look at that one….probably what will end up going through my head)

    Katie @ The Book Sphere recently posted: After Seeing Interstellar, I HAD To Read These.
    • I just realized that my daughter’s big gymnastics competition coincides with ALA, so I’m hoping I’ll still be able to make it for at least some of the days. Have you been to ALA before? I’d really love to know more about it. Are you going to the actual conference, or just the exhibit section?

      • I hope you can come at least for a time on one of the days. It’s a lot of fun. I’ve been before to ALA Annual, but only for Friday. I went to a bloggers conference and then hit the exhibit floor that night. This time I’m just doing the exhibit section. I’m not as experienced there as some others since I was only there one day, but I’ll share what I know if there’s anything you want to know. Feel free to email me at thebooksphere6 at gmail dot com with any questions you have 🙂

  22. I always end up biting off more than I can chew when it comes to ARCs especially on sites like NetGalley and Edelweiss. It’s just so easy and convenient that it’s hard not to. I really need to have more will-power when it comes to requesting ARCs, especially since I have so many books that I’ve purchased and not read yet sitting on my bookshelves.

  23. LOL, auto-approval is wonderful and so are being on publisher’s teams but I am so damn responsible I hate myself. I only request books I can review on or around release date..even if it means posting 7 reviews a week to do so. Therefore my returning rating on NetGalley is 97.6 % and I’ve reviewed every book requested on Edelweiss..which is good but only opens the door to more approvals and more choices..this can be a very bad combo..since my responsible side overwhelms my one-click accept the arc finger. So having said that I think twice before downloading them all since I know it will only lead to pressure from my anal side.

    kimbacaffeinate recently posted: Sunday Post #143 C is for Coffee
    • Yes, I definitely want to only request ARCs that I will read and review right around the release date. When I first started on NetGalley, I didn’t really understand how it all worked, and I’m still digging myself out of that hole (I think my rating is at 68%), so I try to be REALLY careful about requesting things. But, man, the Harper Teen thing is SO tempting! 🙂

  24. Oh my goodness, auto approved? Yes, it’s wonderful and yes, it’s deadly. I can’t resist the pull of ARCS >< I do have books to be reading but then there are lovely new books and I want… From the list you gave at the end I know I have ARCS of 5 of them. 😛 I don't request from any publishers by Harper Teen and Simon & Schuster now because I am trying to resist ARCs. But then again, they do publish the best ones so it isn't really working…

    Olivia recently posted: Editing Your Story (Guest Post)
  25. Whew. I am SO with you girl. Harper auto approval is DANGEROUS. I keep wondering when they’ll revoke it from me because I struggle with keeping up with getting them reviewed. I am drowning in review books and I feel so guilty because I am obligated to review them, so when I don’t do it in a timely manner I feel even worse and get stressed out. ARCs are great, but if you don’t end up reading them ahead of time, it’s kinda like- what was the point? I’m really trying to be better about ARCs, but sometimes it’s really hard, especially when you see people loving a book and you want to read it too, so you go request it. Great post Nicole- good luck on keeping your TBR under control! Haha.

  26. Sue G.

    Love this post. I think it is a problem many readers have…I’m guilty of it! I probably have over 200 paperbacks that I still have to read, let alone what’s on my kindle but I’ll still get new books! I guess it’s better than alcohol or drugs?

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