Sunday, November 1, 2009

Sunday Salon: My Reading POA

I had a serious panic attack last week thinking about all the books I have to review.  I get really stressed out when publishers or authors send me books to read, if I don't read them in a timely manner.  I think one of my goals for 2010 will be to figure out a system for me to be able to read books already on my shelves in a high ratio compared to books to review.  It's nice getting books, but it's also a little ridiculous to feel stressed out about an activity that is supposed to relieve stress!

Does anyone have a strict system or at least general rule-of-thumb they use for books sent to review?  How is that working out for you?

I just finished and reviewed The Order of Odd-Fish by James Kennedy.  It was quirky and fun, if really very odd :-)  That one wasn't sent to me to review, but I wanted to read it before meeting the author in about three weeks.  I'm not sure how many other books by other authors I'm going to get through before meeting them... probably not very many!

I'm now reading The Curse of the Tahiera, by Wendy Gillissen.  This one was sent to me for review, and while it's fairly long, it's quite good so far (I'm only on page 40 of about 420, though, so who knows what will happen).  I am glad I accepted this book to review because the author is doing all the marketing herself and it's published by a very small press (maybe even self-published, not sure).  In the vague rule-of-thumb I am setting for myself for reviewing books in 2010, I think I will try to focus on accepting books from small presses to review because they have less of a marketing department.  Well, unless it's a book I really, really want even before it is being offered to me to review (such as Wolf Hall and Unseen Academicals).  Not sure how successful I will be with that, but I can always try!

I also have to pick a reading list for the Women Unbound challenge, though I think I am going to make it flexible for myself.  We'll see what happens!

Hope everyone else is excited about this reading week :-)


  1. I don't have books sent to me yet, but sometimes I panic if I'm reading 2 or 3 books at once, and not really getting anywhere with them. Maybe you should read one review book for every 3 books you read or something, that will hopefully reduce both your ARC TBR and your regular TBR.

  2. What I do is for every review book I read, I read a book for fun. :-)

  3. I have a schedule for review books of when I plan on posting about the book. Once it gets about 1 book per week on it then I stop accepting books for that time period. This way the review books are spread out and I have time for a book or two of my own every week.

  4. I know there are bloggers who use spreadsheets or calendars, but I just keep a separate stack for books that have to be reviewed for publishers, and then stress out accordingly. Isn't it odd though that we get so stressed when it isn't like we have a job that depends on performance or are getting paid! Whoever thought up this system did a very perceptive analysis on the power of guilt!

  5. I know exactly what you mean about the unread review copies. I also am thinking about a new plan for 2010. I was actually considering not accepting any review copies but it's really not gonna happen because i love getting books too much.
    I am looking forward to starting the Women Unbound Challenge. I think it's going to be a lot of fun.

  6. For most of this year, I haven't accepted review copies at all. The last couple months, I accepted a few again, but I find I'm stressed, so I'm going back to no review copies, unless they're a fave author.

  7. Anonymous11/01/2009

    I'm not getting many people contacting me at this point, I am contacting them so I don't know. I have a few places that get in touch. But yes, when you aren't being paid and when things are also send after a release date, it's hard. With music/film it's easier.
    I'm stressing b/c I have set up two interviews and haven't finished the books and one is with someone I REALLY admire!

  8. I have the same problem, and feel almost constantly overwhelmed by it. I try to be as punctual as I can, but sometimes things just slip a little. And I keep telling myself that I will ask for fewer books, but there are just so many great books out there! I think your idea of mixing review books with books you want to read is a good one that I should try to utilize. It's been a little bit of a help that my husband and I read together at night and that I am now listening to audio books while I do my daily exercise.

  9. I wish I could help, but I have little to no experience with review copies. I tend to say no to things that makes me feel stressed, though :P


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