The access to review copies is one of the greatest privileges of a book reviewer’s life… but it’s also one of the biggest pains.
Don’t get me wrong, I am very grateful to receive review copies from publishers. But unfortunately it has created a monumental problem. The biggest problem a reader ever has to face.
The Never Ending, Forever Mutiplying TBR
and his side kick,
Having a massive TBR brings a lot of guilt which is crippling enough, but there is just something about review copies that make it worse.
There seems to be an obligation when it comes to review copies that adds an incredible amount of pressure. Publishers are kind enough to approve us for ARCs on Netgalley and Edelweiss, sometimes even send us physical copies in the mail (yeah it’s in exchange for a review, but they really don’t have to do this when there are professional reviews out there being paid for this type of stuff).
Ideally we read and review them by the review date… which never happens with me. And I think that is the biggest part of my guilt. I get a fair number of books but because I’m so busy, the books pile up and are neglected for months on end. My current review TBR stands at 25 books, some of which have been there for over 3 years.
I’m not even actively requesting books anymore and the pile still manages to start piling up.
Is this guilt ridiculous? A little bit yeah. But also I think it’s kind of a good thing. We feel guilty because we care. We appreciate the publishers give us the opportunity to read and review books for free and feel bad that we can’t always read them as quickly as we would like.
In an attempt to minimise the guilt, I think it’s important to take a step back and realise:
- We’re human and will fall behind on books
- The publishers will still appreciate a review no matter how late (especially if it’s a good review)
- It’s okay to not like a book. Different people have different tastes
- It’s okay to say no and not read a book