book blog

When ARC Heaven Feels Like ARC Hell

If you’re a blogger, you’ve been here before. An ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) of a book you’ve been waiting for lands on your kindle (or whatever device you read on). You’re excited, you’re pumped. You can’t wait to get started and put it at the very top of your TBR pile. 

But then it happens again, and again and again. Now, don’t get me wrong, I am forever grateful about ARCs and I am genuinely happy that I get to read and review books early. But, that doesn’t mean that poor planning doesn’t happen. That’s generally the point in which I get overwhelmed. In a regular month I will read 4-5 ARCs and review them. Even if they are bunched together a little, that’s pretty easy for me to handle. 

However, sometimes you’re overexcited and sign up for ALL the ARCs without thinking about release dates. So this is me talking about how to prevent that and what to do once you haven’t. 

To prevent being overwhelmed:

  • Assess how much you regularly read in a month
  • Try to make half or less of those books ARCs or books to review. This leaves time for spontaneous reading, and leaves room for slumps.
  • Keep track of all ARCs/book tours you sign up for. Once you see that list overflowing, start carefully considering if that book is one you absolutely MUST read right away. I sometimes only add these to my calendar once the ARC lands on my Kindle or once I get the tour email, but keeping track from the moment you sing up will help prevent overloading yourself.

Surviving once you realize you’ve over stretched yourself:

  • First take a deep breath and step back. 
  • Organize your ARCs by release date. Sometimes we tend to want to read them in the order they show up or depending of how obsessed we are with that author, and while that’s generally how I pick my books, it will not help you when you have too much to do.
  • Set realistic goals for how much you can read. This is not so much a rule but it’ll keep you in track. Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t finish the book the day you thought you would though- just use it as a guide to keep organized. Pick 2-3 books to read that week and make time to read them.
  • I also like to fit in time with a “fun” read to step back and read a couple of chapters in between each book. That helps me get out of one world fully before jumping into the next book. Sometimes going from book to book to book can get a little confusing so stepping back with a light read (or any other activity you enjoy- sometimes I like to go for run or watch some TV) can help clear your head. 

Most important of all though, remember to have fun. We all read cause we love it and we don’t want to get so overwhelmed that it starts to feel like something we HAVE to do as opposed to something we WANT to do and enjoy doing. 

P.S. This is by no means “the absolute way to do things,” just small things that work for me. If you’ve figured it all out and have all the secrets, please feel free to share, I’m always looking for ideas/suggestions. 

My current ARC pile: (Kevin Hart’s I Can’t Make This Up is not pictured since it’s on my tablet.) 

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