LET’S TALK ABOUT… *another* ARC ban?

May 11, 2020

Okay, friends, this is a much overdue decision… It’s time to go on another ARC ban.

You might be thinking, “Destiny, didn’t you just post a few months ago about how you weren’t focusing on review copies anymore?” And yes, that’s true, but I’ve realized in the time since then that I have to find a balance.

While I do want to ensure I’m giving myself plenty of space for mood reading and backlist titles and re-reads, I also want to start working on my ARCs a bit more, because I can’t keep ignoring my ARC release schedule while continually downloading more and more titles.

Nathan Fillion shaking his head with a stern look on his face

So, I’m re-instating my ARC ban, with a few set-in-stone rules this time:

1. I have to read more than I haul every month.
Seriously, this is the rule from this list that I absolutely cannot allow myself to budge on. If I keep hauling more than I’m reading every month, I’ll never get anywhere near catching up. Even if I only read one more title than I haul in any given month, at least it’ll be forward progress!

The way I’m going about this is keeping a running tally sitting right here on my desk, with a space to mark how many ARCs I’ve hauled that month so far, and how many I’ve completed. I won’t allow myself to haul anything unless my “completed” number is already higher than my “hauled” number. For example, as I’m writing this (on May 4th), I’ve hauled 5 ARCs and read 3 — I can’t haul any other review copies until I read 3 more ARCs.

2. If a book wasn’t already a highly anticipated release, I have to wait 7 days to request/download it.
No more randomly scrolling Edelweiss and Netgalley and clicking “request” and “download” left and right. If I see a title I’m interested in, I’ll write it down on my little desk-list, date it, and then 7 days later, I can re-evaluate it and see if I still really want to read it! I’m doing this because I tend to request things on a whim and then realize 3 days later that I wasn’t all that interested in it, so I really think this will reduce the number of titles I even want to haul.

3. If I want to haul an indie book, I have to check KU first!
Look, friends… reading so many indie books is a blessing and a curse, because I can’t even describe how many books I’ve gotten from Netgalley, only for them to show up on Kindle Unlimited when they release, and then I’m sitting there going, “I have an overdue ARC on my shelves and I could’ve just waited and read the finished version, with no obligation to review it by a certain date???” This is especially ridiculous because then I end up borrowing it on KU anyways so that the author gets paid for me reading it, so it makes the whole Netgalley “middle man” super pointless. From now on, whenever it’s an indie book, I’ll check Amazon and see if the listing shows that it’ll be on KU, or if the author’s other books are typically on KU, and then I’ll just save it in a wishlist for later and wait! (Unless it’s one of my favorite indie authors, of course)

4. Finally, it’s time to pick up State of the ARC again!
I know I stopped doing State of the ARC posts a couple of months back because I thought they were adding to my stress too much, but honestly, I’ve really missed them! Plus, not keeping up with the number of ARCs I have vs. how many I read in a given month has made it much harder to practice self-control, because I don’t have those awful numbers glaring at me at the end of every month. ? So I’m excited to say I’ll be re-joining that post meme in a few weeks!


That’s it — those are the rules for my new ARC ban! I hope I’ll be able to really stick to it and make some good forward progress. Let me know if you’re on an ARC ban, or if you have been on one, and what you did! (Or if you want to join me on this one!)


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More about Destiny @ Howling Libraries

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

    1. I’ve actually never been on an official ARC ban! Mostly because I’m very strict with myself about requesting ARCs in the first place, since I’m not the biggest fan of writing reviews. So if I request something, then it has to be something I’m so excited for, that I wouldn’t mind writing a review for it! I also try waiting a bit before requesting books that I think I’ll enjoy but I’m less certain of. Most of the time I don’t end up requesting them, because the wait made me realize I don’t actually mind waiting until the book gets released to pick it up.

      I really like the rules you’ve put in place for yourself! I think they make a lot of sense, and still give you some freedom to request books, which is great! I’m super excited to get to see your State of the Arc posts again! Plus I think it’ll be a really cool way to track your progress!

      1. Ahh, Malka, you’re awesome!! I wish I could have that much self-control in general and not have to go on bans. <3 And thank you so much for the support!! I'm excited, too!

    1. I think the wait 7 days rule is a very good one! Probably will make you request way less titles that you were actually not that interested in!
      Also, I love the return of state of the ARC, love seeing those stats hahah


      1. Thank you! I sure hope so. I have my list sitting on my desk and there are 2 titles on here that I wrote down on May 5th, so almost a week ago, and I’m already like, “Nah, I’ll pass,” lol! So hopefully that becomes the norm. ?

    1. I have never heard of the ARC ban, but it’s actually a very good idea! I currently have 8 ARCs that are to be released in the following two months and it’s making me a bit anxious and stressed. I’ll definitely try this out to put a halt on my ARC requesting?

    1. Best of luck to you! I really like the idea of not requesting until 7 days later because I tend to pick books up on a whim too. But actually lately I havent been requesting a lot and I have like.. no arcs that I’m hyped for but a bunch I’m kinda meh about soooo that’s not great. I should really stop requesting on a whim

      1. Thank you! And I’m sorry you’re not feeling hyped for your ARCs right now. 🙁 That’s always a pretty bad feeling, I’ve been there! I hope you get something super exciting soon. <3 Sometimes, if I'm not excited about any of mine, I'll pick some random ones and look up reviews and see if any of my friends have raved about them in a way that might make me want to pick them up sooner!

        1. Okay so since I commented on your post I got Fable by Adrienne Young and I read it super early because it was the only book I was excited about. It wound up becoming an instant favorite! It was wonderful because I finally got a book that revived my reading life. I do appreciate the idea of picking a random one or looking up reviews though! But it was wonderful to finally found a book that made me so happy. I highly recommend it.

    1. First of all, using the Nathan Fillion GIF is my favorite. Thank you for that piece of joy. Second, I wish you luck! I’ve only read two ARCs in my entire life.

    1. So determined! Good luck! I haven’t been requesting ARCs that much either simply because I’m REALLY trying to get through the books on my actual shelves.

    1. I honestly don’t know how you do it! I know you live in the US so circumstances differ greatly for us, but I only really request books that I know or I’m fairly confident I would review anyway also, I just staight up forget that Netgalley is a thing 99% of the time! I think I would find having a big pile of review copies too stressful! Do you have many backlist or are they all 2020+? (because if you have any backlist oh my god just get rid of them or only read them if you’re genuinely in the mood for them!)

      1. Your self-control is seriously amazing to me, like, all the time!! <3 I could learn a thing or two from you, boo. I have a LOT of pre-2020, sadly! I've reached the point with the pre-2020 ones where I do keep them on a spreadsheet so that, if/when I *do* read/review them, I remember to upload it to NG/EW or whatever, but besides that, I don't stress over those anymore. It sucks that they're there, and I've def unhauled a bunch, but now I just kind of see them as, "If I still want to read them, I'll get to them eventually" and that acceptance has honestly helped SO MUCH!

    1. Good luck! We know how this feels, but I really hope this helps you kick it up a bit. Just don’t burn yourself out on ARC reading ♥

    1. Your third rule speaks to me! I just discovered all of these contemporary romance titles available to my via Hoopla, and it made me realize that half of the arcs I haul are just because I want to read the title eventually and my library consortium almost never gets the physical book. So now I’m trying to remember to ask myself: do you want to read this *now* or just in general?

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