DISCUSSION: Let's Look At My ARC Shelves!

November 8, 2018

Hello, lovelies! Today’s post is going to be a bit of a unique one. Kelly recently did a post titled “What’s On My Netgalley Shelf?” and I thought it was such a fun post to read, that it made me want to do it, too.

Then, earlier this week, I listed ten backlist ARCs I have for my Top Ten Tuesday post, and a ton of you said it resonated with you, or that you felt bad for your overdue ARCs.

So, it made me think that if I’m transparent and show you guys how epic my levels of ARC-reviewing failure are sometimes, maybe it’ll help you guys realize you’re not alone! ? Who knows, maybe some of you guys will be able to comfort ME, too!

This also seems like a good time to announce that I’m going to be hosting a readathon in January dedicated to overdue ARCs! More details coming soon! ♥

I get review copies in a few different ways: print ARCs and finished review copies (sometimes I request them, sometimes they’re offered and I accept, and sometimes they just show up) and eARCs or finished ebooks (either through Netgalley, Edelweiss, or publishers/authors emailing me and sending them). I’m going to split this post up between Netgalley, Edelweiss, other ebooks/eARCs, and print copies.


First, some stats:

  • feedback ratio: 88%
  • approved: 170
  • feedback sent: 150
  • currently unreviewed: 20


past due (13):


not due yet (7):


This was hard to figure out, because this week, Harper “archived” all of my overdue ARCs and now they don’t show up in my account anymore! Thankfully, I keep very detailed spreadsheets with all of my review copies listed.

past due (9):


not due yet (14):


All of these are already out, but most of these were sent to me AFTER their release date, so I don’t have to beat myself up quite as much. 😀

past due (3):


Like the ebooks, many of these were sent after their release dates, so I’ll make a note by those, too. Also, some of these were unsolicited (meaning I didn’t request or accept them, they just showed up), and I don’t hold myself to any obligations with those. If they’re on this list and marked “unsolicited”, it just means I MIGHT read it someday.

past due (21):


not due yet (13):

So, that’s how my ARC shelves are looking! You wouldn’t believe it, but I never had more than two overdue print ARCs until this summer. I used to be so good at staying on top of them! eARCs, on the other hand, have always been my achilles heel, but it’s okay, because that readathon in January is gonna take care of hopefully quite a few of these!

So, what did you think about this post—if you tend to have overdue ARCs, did seeing this mountain of trouble I’ve gotten myself into make you feel any better? Let me know in the comments (and if any of these are on your TBR, too, maybe we can buddy read them!).




More about Destiny @ Howling Libraries

Just a horror aficionado/geek girl trying to juggle motherhood, reading, blogging, gaming, and everyday life.

    1. This isn’t nearly as bad as I was expecting. Your feelings about it being crummy are 100% valid, but I was definitely expecting more “I’ve had this arc for years.” It seems like you’re doing a pretty good job of reviewing most of what you’ve received and just a few have slipped through the cracks. <3 I think your readathon sounds like a great idea!

    1. Hi Destiny,
      I feel like my ARC shelf is way worse than this one but it was nice to see that I am not alone feeling guilty for not getting to them all! We have a lot of them in common and I would be completely up for a buddy read if your interested in any of these: Freedom Trials, Uncharted, The Tiger at Midnight, Dreaming Darkly, We Set the Dark On Fire, Even if I fall, Since We Last Spoke.

      1. Aw, no, you are definitely not alone! And I would love to do a buddy read with you! Even If I Fall is one I would really like to get to soon – would you be interested in buddy reading that one maybe towards late November or early December?

    1. I also keep detailed spreadsheets of my ARCs 🙂 and am definitely up for a readathon in January!

    1. This post definitely made me feel better! HAHA I keep a spreadsheet to which I find helpful. You have some AWESOME ARC’s so I’m super jealous there. I’m all about an ARC readathon in January so count me in if that happens!

    1. This is a great blog post! Lol I do feel better about my overdue ARCS?? But I know you’ll catch up again! And wait, after Harper archives titles you haven’t read yet, can you still read them?

      1. Haha thank you love! <3 I'm glad I could help! You can as long as you've already downloaded them to your kindle or the kindle app on your phone/tablet. Otherwise, no 🙁 Thankfully, I make a rule of downloading everything to my kindle the moment I get the notification for it!

    1. omg yes yes yes please do an overdue arc readathon in january!! neeeeeeed.

    1. I’m so happy you took the time to share your stats! I’ve fallen SO behind on my eARCs and it feels good to know I’m not the only one.
      I also have White Stag and Dragon Peal from NetGalley, if you want to buddy read either!

      1. No, you are definitely not alone! And I would LOVE to buddy read with you! I promise I’m usually not a failure at BRs like with our last one (which I am STILL NOT DONE WITH) ??? When did you want to read those? I was actually thinking about maybe fitting White Stag in this month but hadn’t decided for sure yet.

    1. Wow, so many ARCs! I’m also tempted to give Edelweiss another try… I didn’t really understand how it worked last time I went on.
      We also have some of the same ARCs from Netgalley!
      While I’ve finally caught up in my ARCs from Netgalley, I’ll probably be joining you in January, because I doubt I’ll be able to keep my reading pace up during the holidays… especially with so many good books coming out that I don’t have an ARC of!

      1. I actually have another blogger’s Edelweiss guide bookmarked if you’re interested in it! It’s here and I send this to everyone who asks me about EW because it sums it up sooo nicely. I honestly LOVE EW, especially for Harper titles – I don’t know what it is about the person who runs the Harper YA (and most of the adult) imprints on EW but once you’re in with them, you are IN and they’ll just dish out the approvals. ? What ARCs do we have in common from netgalley? Maybe we could buddy read one! 😀
        Yaaaaay! If you don’t end up having enough overdue ARCs, you could totally substitute them with upcoming ARCs or just regular reads you’ve been meaning to get to 🙂

        1. Wow, the guide is so helpful, thank you! I will now definitely end up with way too many ARCs haha. A good problem to have ^_^
          Our common ARCs that I have yet to read are: The Gilded Wolves and White Stag. We should totally buddy read them! Maybe in December or early January haha ^_^ Already I feel like our reading schedules are filling up.
          Hope you are reading an awesome book~

    1. I feel slightly better now. ^^; I think my behind list is still a bit larger, I’m embarrassed to say, but I’m trying to get better.
      Slayer is on my list, but I got turned down for a copy. The Seanan McGuire titles are too; still waiting to hear back. #jealous
      When you request books on Edelweiss, I’m curious: what kind of approach do you take when they ask why you want it? I waver between gushing and trying to sound professional.

      1. Good! <3 That was my goal, to offer some comfort and solidarity. 😀 I feel like there can be an issue in the blogosphere with transparency, so lately, I've been trying really hard to put myself out there in ways that allow other bloggers to go, "Oh, me too!" 🙂
        I'm so sad you got turned down for Slayer! 🙁 I'm sorry. I wish I could share mine with you. Mine pended for a really long time (I think 3-4 months) so I thought I was being turned down. I hope you get the Seanan titles! Crossing my fingers for you. 🙂
        On Edelweiss, it depends on the publisher! If it's any of Harper's YA imprints, I tend to just be like "I love ___*insert genre/theme/trope etc*___" because their YA people are super awesome and usually approve me regardless, but with other requests, I usually lean more on the side of gushing and I think it goes okay? Then again, I got declined for four things on Edelweiss this week, so take my advice with a grain of salt ?

    1. Your NetGalley ratio is 88%, exactly the same as mine! I have about 35 books still unreviewed though. I know they suggest at least 80%, but I get a nervous whenever mine falls below 90%. I best step it up too!

      1. That’s awesome, ratio twinning haha! It took me AGES to get to 80%, and now I panic if I fall anywhere near it. The highest I’ve ever been is 89%, so my end-of-year goal is just to get above 90%! 🙂

    1. whilst my ARC backlist isn’t quite as much as this (mostly due to not being able to request things being out of region which is probably a blessing in disguise ?) i definitely feel suuuper behind so i totally get where you’re coming from! i feel like i’ve almost just stopped requesting ARCs in general now because i just don’t have the energy to give them the time they deserve haha. i’d so be up for an ARC-themed readathon though because it could definitely help motivate me a lot to get to the ones i do have!!
      out of your list i’ve only read the hollow girl which was AMAZING, so i definitely recommend checking that one out!! good luck with your reading, destiny ?

      1. Aww, I feel you, I stopped requesting for a while over the summer because of that! Sadly, I’m back to requesting too much now – I need to stop again, lol! I’m always slightly grateful when November rolls around because I feel like there aren’t usually many big releases between November and March, so it gives me a little time to play catch-up. And please do join in! 😀
        Oooooh, moving it up on my list! <3 thank you love, happy reading to you!!

    1. I definitely don’t feel as bad anymore lol. Your ARC shelf is definitely not worse than mine though. mine is super scary! I hope I’ll get on top of mine soon. 😀 Good luck reading 😀

    1. Oh so many. I hope you can catch up a bit. It helps with that constant nibbling feeling. Technically I only have one overdue arc but I don’t even consider it that because the author send me the ebook the night before release (october 30th) even though I agreed back in August to read and review. Lol.

      1. SO MANY haha. Thank you! Oh yeah, I wouldn’t consider that overdue! That’s my only comfort with all of those overdue print ARCs I listed, is that so many of them were sent after the release date. That always makes me feel less guilty haha!

    1. This is just another shot for me to boast, right? I’m going to try not to though because.. In a way this is also pretty darn confronting being an international unicorn and all. :’)
      I wish I could just pull half these through my screen to read myself [I’m not even naming THE book I’m eyeing most right now] like.. with the excuse of helping you out? 😀
      I do hope you find some way to get on top of these again! Although it does seem like.. an impossible feat? Somehow? Because we all know it’s awful to only read ARC’s when we have all those finished copies of books we really, really want to read as well.. I hope your readathon will help you tick a bunch off though!

      1. Haha I would totally transfer some of these to you if I could ? “Hi, *insert publisher*, my TBR is too big, can I send some of these to a friend? She promises to review them!”
        Thank you. <3 It is rough, so I think I need to go on a severe requesting limit. I just don't know how I want to limit it – if I want to say I can only take/request a certain number per month, or per quarter, or shut down indie requests, or… sigh. I don't know. I'm hoping the readathon will help too, though!

        1. [You should totally add *ON TIME* as well because. Like. I can pretty much guarantee that – insert evil laughter.]
          Lately I’ve been changing the way I request as well. With all the changes coming up and such, I need to limit myself even more so.. yeah.. Nowadays I write down the titles I can request and want to request and reread the blurb every day. Often happens I don’t find it all that interesting anymore the day after and take it off the list, but if it sticks for a couple of days.. I just go ahead and request it? :’)

          1. Oooooh, that’s such a good idea! I’m 100% stealing that lmao. Because I cannot tell you how many of my spring ’19 eARCs that I have right now are either not super interesting to me anymore, or I honestly don’t know what they’re about, they just sounded good at the moment so I requested them right away. :/ Sigh.

            1. Exactly! That’s the danger of the mood reader in all of us, really. If we can’t let it out with the actual reading, we start letting our mood reading tendencies loose when it comes to requesting books.. :’)

    1. Yeah, my overdue ARCs are numerous as well! And it’s not even fun how many I have. Lately, I’ve tried to not get new ARCs at all. And then, suddenly, I get an ‘auto-approved’ e-mail from NetGalley, and those are almost impossible to resist.
      I also get audio ARCs, and I have a ton of those to listen to as well. I have to say this is a pretty good problem to have, though – I love books, and at one point, I’m pretty sure I’ll read those that are backlisted. I did request them for a reason.
      I love that you shared both titles, where you got these ARCs from and which are overdue and which are due later on.
      Have a fantastic Friday and happy reading 🙂

      1. Oh man, the auto approvals! Those are too tempting, but they’re fun. That’s awesome that you get audio ARCs! I’ve considered getting into that but ultimately decided not to because I just don’t listen very often.
        Thank you! 🙂 Happy reading and weekend, love! (And sorry if you just got a follow notif from me – WordPress had you in my “followed sites” section but your most recent post wasn’t showing in my feed, so I did the email subscribe, too. ?)

    1. Yesss. I think it’s so good for us all to be transparent about our ARC drowning because I feel like it is literally happening to everyone right now.
      I was just talking to Avery (Book Deviant Avery) about how some of my ARCs I got back in March and how I need to set aside some time to just… bang them all out so I am very excited about the January event you have planned!
      I’ve been getting some physical books from publishers recently and while it’s also exciting I’m just watching my TBR continue to grow lol

      1. Exactly! That was my thought, too – I’d heard so many people tell me lately that they felt guilty over their overdue ARCs, and so it was like, “Well, I could start a conversation and maybe show people they’re not alone,” and so far the response makes me think it did!
        I’m so glad you’ll be joining in January! I’m really excited for it. And congratulations on the ARCs! It’s such a good feeling every time you get an exciting new ARC in the mail.

    1. Oh PHEW! I’m not the only one way behind on ARCS! I feel so bad, I only just got my Girls of Paper and Fire review out today, despite getting the ARC in June and the book releasing a few days ago. WHOOPS!

      1. Hahaha nope, not just you! Oh my gosh, SAME on Girls of Paper and Fire!! I got my ARC in May or June (I can’t remember) but I’m just now finishing it up and planning to review it tomorrow. I feel SO BAD but I got so overwhelmed with review copies and didn’t prioritize well over the last couple of months!

    1. Your NetGalley ratio is so good! Although I’m finally nearing a good one myself! (at 78% now! Never been this high xD)
      And yeah, I also find it pretty annoying how books can disappear from Edelweiss even if you’ve reviewed them. Hail the spreadsheets 😀

      1. Oooooh you’re so close to the mystical 80% ?? it took me FOREVER to hit 80% for the first time! That’s awesome that you’re at an all time high right now. I believe my highest to date was 90%, and I’m at 89% right now so I’m hoping to beat that soon!

        1. I know, it has taken me like two years – literally! Not that it’s very important because I probably won’t request much anymore. I was surprised at how many 5 stars I’m giving out this month – until I realized that it’s because I’ve finally started reading from my actual TBR 😮

          1. Isn’t it funny, how much our averages tend to improve when we read less review copies? Don’t get me wrong, I’m so grateful for ARCs and I love a lot of the ones I get, but I guess there’s something to be said about how well we know our own tastes when it comes to books we actually had to spend our own money on! 😛

            1. I think it’s also that for the backlist books, people have already tested them out for us, and we just don’t buy ones that have been ‘meh’ for the people we trust. And for ARCs, we’re the testers! We’ve got to say ‘meh’ to save every else’s time and money xD

            1. That’s a really good point ?? I can’t count how many ARCs I’ve been declined for and then later ended up being grateful for being declined because reviewers I have a lot in common with thought it sucked…

    1. Your rating at 89% is awesome Destiny! You never know why your turned down. Sometimes when you get a book you cheer! ? Never thinking you would get it. Some of the arc companies can be annoying. I would just love some consistency. After getting seriously in the weeds one year, I’m more thoughtful of what arc I ask for. Your smart Destiny, asking for arcs way in advance. That way you have time to ‘schedule’ when to read. Excellent discussion! ❤️❤️

    1. I really liked seeing the breakdown of your overdue arcs, and it makes me feel a lot better about missing a couple deadlines I imposed on myself. You have a lot of great reads to get through, though!

    1. I think I might have finally found the perfect First Ever Readathon to join because I really want to get ontop of my ARC’s and honestly that might be the kick in the ass I need! I’m looking forward to it!

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