If you look at the books I’ve read and my reviews, you’ll notice most of them are published before 2019. I’m not a book blogger who stays on top of trends. I work through my TBR I created years ago with books I own or books I wanted to read back then. Finale by Stephanie Garber is one of the few books I read the same year it was published. Is that bad? Not at all.
I see a lot of (new) book bloggers who feel the pressure of being current. They chase ARCs, and write lists with marketing materials of large publishers. Even if they stick to their genre, most of what they’ll share is already curated by the marketing departments of various companies.
Once upon a time, I wished to be one of them, but it only lasted two weeks. I have a NetGalley account that I rarely use anymore. My TBR shelf is still filled with more books than I can read in months. Why should I add pressure for myself to read books before they come out? I’m already bad with deadlines because of my health, and extra stress enhances my pain.
No more ARCs for me unless I intend to read them on short notice.
I read a lot of indies. This partly due to the great curation of the Storybundle. Every few weeks, they gather 15 books around a theme and bundle it with a “pay what you want”-system. I’ve found new authors and series I liked. All of them are high quality.
Sometimes an indie author sends me an email with a review request. If I like the book, I’ll put it on my priority TBR list. I usually turn down requests for book tours or launch reviews, because I can’t commit to a hard deadline. Most of them don’t mind if I post a review later. For them, every chance of exposure to a new audience and receiving another positive review is worth it.
Yes, I go easy on indies. It’s hard to find your audience without a large marketing budget and if I can help out, even if it’s just a little, I want to. I can write a review about a book they wrote years ago, and I know people can still read it. If I review a book that’s out of print, well, that’s a major disappointment for my readers. There is less pressure in reviewing indie titles.
Hardcopy and ebook
I usually have an ebook on my phone to read, and a paperback on my nightstand when I want to hold a book. I’m a multi-book reader. You can see that in my reviews, with hardcopy and ebooks interchanging. My last review was All Systems Red, an ebook. Before that, I reviewed Warcross, a hardcover I received from my husband. I switch up my reading to keep it exciting.
The books I have on my IRL shelf have a wider variety of genres than my ebooks, which are mostly fantasy or one of its subgenres. I hope I’ll get to the point soon that I read fast enough to be more selective of which books I review instead of reviewing every fiction book I read.
How do you manage your TBR? How do you select the books you buy? Share which book you’re currently reading in the comments!