Friday, 23 November 2018

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How Do You Choose? Bought Books Vs Review Books

How Do You Choose? Bought Books Vs Review Books

At the beginning of the month, Cait of Paper Fury asked Should We Blog About Backlist Titles More Often? and it really got me thinking about the books I buy.

As a book blogger, because I get sent ARCs to review, and I'm not the quickest of readers, if I stacked my review TBR in one big pile, it could probably take me to the moon - and that's not including the eProofs I have, because they're unstackable. I exaggerate, but I have a lot of review books. So many, that I do struggle to keep up with them. But I don't get sent review books of everything I want to read. Sometimes I'm denied, sometimes I don't have a contact, sometimes I don't know about a book until after it's published, sometimes the books are only published in the US and there's no way to get a review copy. I buy a huge amount of books - not counting the finished copies I buy after reading review copies.

Because I have So. Many. Books., when it comes to choosing what to read, unless I desperately want to read a book I bought right now, I tend to try and choose something from my review TBR. This means the books I bought have to wait. And wait. And wait. And sometimes years go by before I pick them up; I only read and reviewed A Discovery of Witches earlier this month, but I bought it back in 2012.

Cait's post was specifically talking about choosingto read backlist titles today, as in going to a bookshop or a library and choosing a title that has been out for years. But what about when your shiny new book you've bought, that was published this year, this month, this week, ends up getting pushed aside in favour of review books... and is a backlist title when you come to read it?

I bought these books, so I want to read them, and I will do. At some point. But I do feel a sense of guilt when I choose what to read next - ARC vs bought book. Reading an ARC seems better because I have to review them. I review everything I read anyway, but it just feels like those books are more important. But if I read an ARC over a bought book, I feel guilty because I'm just adding to my TBR with bought books, it's getting bigger, and it's being ignored. Yes, I'll read it eventually, but it feels like a waste of money now, and adding to my TBR is a problem, because I literally have piles on my bedroom floor now, it's a health and safety hazard. You could say, don't buy them until you're actually going to read them, but 1) When I buy them, I genuinely believe I will read them soon, and 2) When will that be? I'm a mood reader. I can't think, "Oh, I fancy that book now! But I don't have it. So I'll have to read something else until I do," because by the time I've bought it, I want to read something different, and again, it just sits on the TBR. And when I do choose a bought book over an ARC, I feel guilt because I should be reading those books because I've specifically requested/accepted the ARC, and someone is waiting on my review.

I have bought 73 books so far this year. I've read 17 of them. That leaves 56 unread bought books. And that isn't counting the unread bought books I bought last year. Or the year before. Or the year before that. Quite a few of the books I bought this year were actually backlist titles, as I was specifically looking for books to read for Mental Illness in YA Month. But the majority are all shiny and new - right now at least. That's really a lot of book.

So help me out here. How do you decide whether to read review books or bought books? Or do you just not buy so many than it doesn't become a problem? Or do you manage to keep on top of both your review and bought book TBRs? Let me know in the comments!

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4 comments:

  1. I suffer from the same guilt. I have started requesting less books. Keeping my review books to under 50% of what I read for the month. I also started a new feature on my blog - One Old, One New. I find one review book/new release and an old book/backlist book, which have something in common. It's been a fun feature to do, and it encourages me to take a look at my backlist.

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    1. Ooh, your feature sounds awesome, and is really clever! And trying to read half and half is a good plan! I wonder if that's something I can try in future with my mood reading? I'll see if I can give it a go!

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  2. This is the neverending plight of the book blogger. I request so many less books nowadays than I used to, but I still can't keep up. It seems impossible most days.

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

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    1. Right? Siiiigh. It's a struggle! Of course, it's a very privilieged problem to have, having so many free ARCs available to us we can't keep up.

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