In 2015, I went a little ARC crazy. It was too the point where there were large periods in my reading where I read nothing but, even if I wasn’t in the mood for them. ARCs are an interesting thing in that they can make us feel a variety of things: excitement over having something you wanted early, jealousy when we see something someone else has, and tired because sometimes there’s just so many of them. It’s a crazy roller-coaster of emotions, and something that isn’t always easy to rectify.
The picture above is my current pile, with old ARCs that I’ve received from friends in the back, and all upcoming 2016 titles in the front. As you can see, I have about sixteen titles to read, four which are January releases (end of January mind you), then the rest are from February to April. That’s a lot to read! But I am also one of those people who has a long commute to work, so I always tend to read my ARCs then because I have that uninterrupted amount of time that I can just read and relax. But still, sometimes I think I overreach what I am capable of, and this year I need to be a lot better about not going to crazy and taking on too much more than I can actually handle.
The other issue with ARCs, as wonderful as they are, is that you tend to forfeit reading your own books that you own for them. This means your TBR gets a little larger, and you don’t feel like you’re making as much progress either. I hate that feeling, especially because I don’t like the idea of quantifying reading, even though it’s something I unconsciously do. The Shelf of Shame in my house is a real thing, and it’s something every year I try to work through and bring down more and more.
In 2016, I plan to work on reducing my TBR more. I feel like this is every person’s goal, but for me, I want to just enjoy reading as much as I can, and reading what I want to read. I love receiving and reviewing ARCs, but I also don’t want them to be the thing that dominates my reading time. How do you combat this problem of wanting to read your own books but also feeling obligated to read what you’ve requested? I am huge on schedules and I’m generally really good at following them, but I’d love to hear some tips on how you manage your TBR, and more specifically how you manage the time between ARCs and personal books.