I feel like we just had a big discussion post recently, but I’ve got a lot on my mind lately, so bear with me, folks. ♥
First of all, sorry I kind of… disappeared?
A few weeks ago, I realized as I was getting ready for bed one night that I hadn’t written a post for the next day, and instead of rushing to my computer to piece something together really quickly, I decided to just let it go. And then another day passed, and another, and another… and after a couple of days of missed posts, I realized I seriously needed a break.
So, I decided to take an unannounced, indefinite hiatus, and while I was gone, I realized I don’t want to follow a blogging schedule anymore. It worked well for me for a long time, but now? I’d rather just post what I want, when I want. No more filling the void with random posts I don’t actually enjoy writing (like a weekly tag, when I don’t even like doing tags that often). No more memes that I have to force myself to finish in time (lookin’ at you, Top Ten Tuesday).
At the end of the day… what’s the post of doing this if I’m not doing it in a way I actually enjoy?
So, from here on out, you might see 3 posts from me one week and nothing the next and then 5 posts the week after that — I honestly don’t know right now! I’m sorry, but this is what I need to do and I hope you’ll understand!
While I was gone, I decided to cut myself some slack in a few other areas, too.
Namely, my review copy backlist.
You’ve all heard me lament plenty of times over my review copy backlist, so we don’t need to re-hash all of that. Over-estimating my own ability to focus, getting overly excited when I first became a librarian and got that sweet, sweet librarian NetGalley account status, and having a mental illness that most notably manifests in poor impulse control? Pretty much a recipe for disaster for a while there. While I’ve gotten much better about what ARCs I choose to accept or request, it doesn’t do anything to help with that big-ass backlist that’s been breathing down my neck, making it difficult for me to read ANYTHING at all because every book I try to pick up that isn’t on the backlist makes me feel guilty, and every book that is on the backlist feels like a chore at this point.
So, I finally took the advice of some very dear friends (mostly Ellyn ♥) and decided to dump almost my entire review copy backlist… and it feels incredible.
I made myself a couple of rules:
- Remove every single copy that published before 2020.
- Remove every single book that I don’t want to read ASAP and have not been inclined to pick up within the last six months.
- Remove every single book I’ve started and set down “for later” but haven’t picked back up in a while.
- I also allowed myself to keep many of these books on my overall Goodreads TBR shelf, just not my review shelf — which made it a lot easier to let go of the pressure, because I’m viewing those as “eventually” reads instead of “gotta read it right now” reads.
The final result? I lowered my backlist of review copies down to only 35 releases from this year, with a handful for next year waiting on me, too. That’s a huge change from the 300+ review copies I had on my backlist before making this decision.
And you might be wondering, do I feel guilty for removing these books from my reviewing list? Honestly, I did at first… until I really thought long and hard about what I was asking of myself here.
First of all, I promote every single review copy I haul. Whether it’s through haul posts, videos, bookstagram pictures, book lists, whatever — I know for a fact I’ve promoted and even sold many books without ever reading a single page of the book myself. So, it’s not like skipping a review means I haven’t done anything for the book at all.
Second, because I prioritize print titles (since those are the ones publishers actually spend money to create and send out), the titles I removed were almost exclusively eARCs (and even more, most of them were auto-approvals that were available to all librarians — not requested titles I might have indirectly prevented another reviewer from receiving).
Third, I don’t know why it took me four freaking years for this to sink in… but it’s not like I’m getting paid for this effort. A free review copy does not legitimately match up in terms of payment to the ridiculous amounts of effort I’ve gone to for promoting some of these titles, honestly. So, when I weigh it all out… I think I can forgive myself for de-prioritizing some eARCs.
And, uh… well, that’s it, really! 😅 I kind of just wanted to give you all an update on where I’m at right now and the status of those two things.
I won’t be posting any more monthly ARC updates this year, but I’ll post a new one in January for our “clean slate”, in a sense. Any 2020 titles I don’t read by the end of this year might be removed as well, just for the sake of making 2021 a lot more manageable for myself.
ALSO, I’m not reading much these days, but I do want to start adding in some gaming content and I’ve received a lot of requests for video game reviews lately — so, keep an eye out for those to begin soon! ♥
— destiny ♥
twitter | booktube | bookstagram | facebook | goodreads