As my career as an agent has taken off, I’ve found it’s getting harder and harder to keep up with the growing pile of TBR published books and ARCs. My priority reading belongs to my authors and potential clients. ARC reviewing is less fun when there are too many to read mixed with incredibly close deadlines (April, anyone?). When I look at the pile due for review the next month, my stomach fills with dread.
This summer, I’m making a change. I’m going to focus the majority of my time and energy (outside of agenting) on the books I’ve purchased across the years and haven’t read yet.
ARCs won’t be entirely off the radar, though. I’ll read one or two each month. These ARCs are ones I’m genuinely excited about and can’t imagine not reviewing.
EDIT 5/23 @ 8:50pm: Writers, I am not closed to queries.
But how do I choose what to read?
Hannah @ So Obsessed With recently wrote a post on cutting back ARCs. The ARCs you choose to read are the ones you think you’ll really enjoy and be more than happy to review. When I started blogging, I wanted to read ARCs so that I could keep up with the industry and make this blog more accessible to others.
But now, with two feet in three doors — agenting, bookselling, and blogging — it’s just too much. There’s no point in buying books published years ago if I never read them, just like there’s no point in requesting ARCs for books getting a lot of hype/sounds vaguely interesting if I never read them or end up DNFing anyway.
I’m choosing to read books that, if they were on the shelves right now, I’d pick up out of personal interest. This can be based on the author, the plot, the connection I have to that particular imprint or editor — not the hype or the cover or vague, generic, maybe-it’ll-be-good, meh feeling.
It’s time to step back and remember how to enjoy reading, before blogging ever happened. I’m going to be selective about the ARCs I read, stash away my wallet for this book-buying ban, and browse my TBR shelves for the next good read.
What are my reading goals this summer?
- A book a week. Though I read much faster than a book a week, I think 8-12 sounds about right for pacing purposes. I don’t want to feel rushed (like when reading ARCs), plus I’ve my livelihood — reading manuscripts — that I need to keep up with. It’s summer. It’s the time to be a little slow and laid back, right?
- #ReRead2015. I’ve got to read at least two books from my #reread2015 list. It was like being sucked into a blissful vortex of rehashing memories this winter, and I’m sad haven’t been back since. I liked that vortex. That’s a nice vortex.
- YA historical. Um, hello, I bought all these great books and haven’t read them yet! What is wrong with me?
- YA contemporary. There’s a handful of summery, romancey, contemporary books that have been out for a while. I’ve definitely missed the bandwagon on them, but I’m happy to trot along far behind the tracks.
- Adult historical. Talk about a mountain of adult fiction books! So many reviews, so many recommendations, to the point where it feels like I’ve read them already — but I haven’t! I want to cry and fall in love and learn (my favorite part of historical fiction). Let’s get started.
Share your reading habits!
Have you had similar reading lulls or pressures? How are you managing your book reviewing time? Do ARCs take first priority? Have you gone on a book-buying ban? What are you planning to read this summer? Share your thoughts and ideas!