Bookish Thoughts: I’m Done…

…with the Blogging for Books review program. Every time I’ve logged on to the site over the past year there is never any books I’m interested in reading.  Because of that, I wasn’t actively posting reviews and I noticed the books offered to me became more and more limited.  That might also have something to do with my Klout score being low due to my reduced social media activity.

Blogging for Books was nice in that they sent you a physical book. But when the selection to choose from is so crappy what is the point?  I’ve never been a fan of how they ran their system, limiting review copies to one book at a time and a wait time before having access to a new title after posting your review of course… (example: I receive my book in two days, read it, yet have to wait their arbitrary amount of time before I can post my review) They would also not offer the same books to every participant.  If your Klout score wasn’t up to their snuff then you only had access to their less popular titles to review.   I understand it is their site and their rules but I’m done jumping through their hoops. I also understand this will probably put me on a blacklist over on Net Galley as well.  That’s okay too.

I’m also drastically reducing my review requests on other sites like Edelweiss and Net Galley.  Edelweiss has never been a lucky place for me to request titles anyway and if it wasn’t for one publisher granting me access to a beloved author through that site I would be giving them up as well.  Net Galley, on the other hand, has been a great way for me to try different authors and score some ARCs in series I follow.  But I have noticed recently that there are fewer titles I’m interested in requesting from that site as well.  I continue to check their new listings every day but rarely do I put in a request anymore.    Of course, there are some months that I find a bunch of titles I’m interested in but that tends to be the exception.

I’ve also noticed that I’m not being offered review copies from Indie authors as often.  Which honestly is fine with me.  I’m going to say 90% of the titles offered to me are nothing even remotely similar to the types of books I read.  Either the authors are offering less, actually reading my review request rules and honoring them, or I’ve fallen out of favor.  Maybe it is a mix of all three.

So have any of you noticed a decline in review copies available or of interest through any of these sites?  Are you scaling back or ramping up your review requests?  Or do you avoid them altogether and just read what you want?

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Monday Morning Check-In: Reading Freedom!

Monday Morning Check-In

Good Monday morning everyone!  This post is being written up on Saturday because I am really on the ball this week.  Or I had some free time and decided to fill it by being productive instead of wasting time on YouTube.  See I can be responsible.  Anyway, I’m coming off a busy week and my attitude has really taken a hit.  Just too much time around people and I am getting all sensitive.  Sensitive to noise, sensitive to being touched, sensitive to perceived insults or challenges to authority… Basically, I just need some time alone where I don’t have to do anything.  Tuesday is looking pretty good.

Anyway, I actually got more reading done this week than I thought I would.  I DNFed three of my review books as they just were not working for me which means I am ready to declare my reading independence!!! I have NO REVIEW  BOOKS! Not a single one.  No deadlines, no pressure, simple freedom to read whatever catches my fancy.   I’m not sure what to do with myself.  I have so many books that have piled up while I was working on reading books with a deadline that I’m not sure where to start.  I am thinking about taking the rest of the month off from review requests and just reading whatever the hell I want to!  It is so liberating.  Oh sure I am still checking Net Galley and Blogging for Books but nothing is catching my eye.  I’ve decided I’m not going to request a book just to have a review ARC for the blog.  If something I really want to read pops up or there is a title I was already going to read I will put in a request.  So often as bloggers we get obsessed with obtaining those ARCs that we push aside other books we have been wanting to read for them because there is a deadline attached.  How about every once in a while we just read something that interests us and who cares how old it is or that everyone else and their brother has already reviewed the book.  I haven’t.  Why shouldn’t my opinion be added to the mix?

So those are my reading plans for the rest of the month.  Trying to make a dent in the mountain of books on my to-read bookcase or Nook.  I’m thinking it will be a nice change of pace.  How about you?  Fellow bloggers do you ever get ARC fatigue?  Do you ever take a break from requesting books for review?  Or am I the only one….

Happy Reading ~Amy

Month in Review: March 2015

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Read:  8  Books,   Pages 2293

Year to Date:  21 Books,  7475 Pages

Goal for year: 104 books

Challenges Crossed Off: 26/74

Last Month’s Theme: Reads for Review

This Month’s Theme: #ReadingMyLibrary Challenge

It’s that time of the month again,  time to evaluate how much I read last month and figure out my goals for next month.  I need to get my act together and get some reading time in.  Not that eight books a month isn’t respectable, but I’ll never meet my goal of 104 for the year if I keep reading at this pace.  I think I need to work on distractions.  It also didn’t help that our house hold schedule has changed and my husband is around in the day more.  So I’m interacting with him more (a good thing), but the noise level has also risen in our house and I need quiet in order to get lost in the pages. Perhaps I need to pick up some earplugs the next time I visit the farm supply store.

March’s theme: Reads for Review.  I am happy to say I caught up on all but four of my review books.  I also requested a few more, but most of what I have to read now doesn’t have a looming deadline or I can work it into my upcoming reading themes.  I did find a new book request site for bloggers, Reading Alley, if you all want to check it out.  So far it looks to be mainly indie authors or from smaller publishing houses.  Still I hope to find some good reads there.  I am about to give up on Penguin’s First to Read program.  I was turned down again for the last book I bid on.  Half the time they are offering nothing I’m interested in and when it is something that looks intriguing there is no guaranteed read lot offered (where you can use points, I have over 7000, to ensure you get the book) and I’m turned down. I think it has been over a year since I received a book to review from them.  With Net Galley, Reading Alley, and author requests quite frankly I have enough review books on my plate that I can spare myself the frustration.

April’s Theme:

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April kicks off the #ReadingMyLibrary Challenge that Stefani @ Caught Read Handed and I are hosting.  There is still plenty of time to sign up if you want to join us (deadline April 15) and you are only required to read one library book to participate.  It should be a fun month of library reading and did I mention there will be a giveaway! I’ll be posting another blog entry today to discuss more about the opening of festivities, so keep an eye out for that.  I hope you decide to join us.  My personal goal for the month is to read more than 12 library books.  That is four more than I have been averaging, so I’ll be satisfied if I manage ten.

So what are your reading goals for April?  Have you joined our challenge?  

Monday Morning Question: Review Requests?

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Good Monday Morning everyone!  I hope you all had a more productive weekend of reading than I did…  Today I sit my ass down on the couch and read some freaking pages.  I mean it!  Well I do need to move some firewood, but I am going to finish this book.  I am still behind on Goodreads and in my books for review theme for this month.  I wanted to finish up all of my review book before April so I could dedicate that entire month to the #ReadingMyLibrary Challenge, click on link to find out more and sign up.   I did get through most of the books I had to review,…alright I got through almost half…, I still have seven titles to review!  Granted six of them are not going to be released, or re-released until later this year (well after April), and I did request several of them after I already started this month’s theme of read-for-review,  damn you Net Galley and your free books by authors I adore.  I really need to step away from that site for a while again, or for the first time.  It is just too tempting though, especially since I am under a book buying ban (which I am doing really well on, thanks for asking).  So this morning I guess my question for you is:

Do you request book for review through Net Galley or another site?  Do you accept requests for book reviews from authors? Indie or traditional published? Do you then feel pressure to read and review those books before other titles?  Do you DNF a title you requested for review?

As you know from above I do request books from Net Galley and a couple of other sites (always looking for others, share in comments).  I have been trying to limit my requests to authors I am already familiar with or new authors only if it is first in a series.  I don’t get that many requests from authors, indie or otherwise, for review.  There are two authors that have me review their new releases on a regular basis, but I do get an odd-ball request for a review from time to time.  Most of them I turn down.  Mainly because most of the time the books are like nothing else I have read.  For example; one request was for a book on running a kettle-corn business…  I’m sorry, but does that sound like anything else I’ve read on this site.  I really appreciate the authors that take the time to at least look at the other books I’ve read and reviewed first to make sure theirs might be a good fit for me.  I understand though, it is really difficult to get honest reviews for books.  That is why I always take a look at what is offered and if it is even close to my reading preference I will try to fit it in my schedule.  Doesn’t always mean I will finish it, but I will give it my 50 page try at least.

So how about you?  What are your thoughts on review requests?

Month in Review: February 2015

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Read:   8 Books,  2008  Pages

Year to Date:  13 Books,  5182 Pages

Goal for year: 104 books

Challenges Crossed Off: 23/74

Last Month’s Theme: February Romance Reads

This Month’s Theme: Reads for Review

Welcome to another month in review.  Last month I decided to go with the theme of Romance books. I tried to read a variety, didn’t get as many different types as I had hoped, but I did venture out and try a variety.  I managed to get in some paranormal, contemporary, and even a classic title.  I missed out on adding in an erotic novel or a YA selection, but that’s alright.   There is a difference in the different styles of romance books.  I tend to enjoy the paranormal romances better,  they have tougher female leads who don’t sit around and wait for a man to marry or save them.  The come off as better examples of strong female leads in my opinion.  It was a nice change of pace to read my romances a more analytically then I normally do.  I believe I will make February Romance Reads a recurring theme here at the blog and welcome you all to join in on the fun if you want.

Now we begin the third month of the year with no signs of spring anywhere on the horizon…  I was going to have March’s theme be Sci-fi, rather fitting with the recent loss of Leonard Nimoy, but I have noticed that I have way to many books for review piling up so I am going with that theme instead.  I am still going to look into reading something as a tribute to my beloved Spock, perhaps the novel RedShirts by John Scalzi or even one of the Star Trek books that I have up on my to-read bookcase upstairs.    As it stands though I have eight books I’ve agreed to read for review, although a couple of them don’t release until later in the year, and it is going to be a busy month of reading as it is.

In April I’ve teamed up with the blog Caught Read Handed to co-host  Reading My Library challenge and I am supper excited about that. There will be more information coming around mid month, so be sure to keep an eye out.  I have also joined the Bloggers’ Book Club and their selection for March is  The Glass Arrow by Kristen Simmons.  I’m not sure I will be able to participate this month though.  The book is a new release and is not available at any of my libraries.  I am also still under my self-imposed book buying ban so I might have to wait until next month’s read to join in the fun.  I did add the book to my library’s buy list, a small perk of being a librarian, but I am not the person who orders books so I still might not get it in time.

Well I hope you all have a great month of reading.  I have a bunch of great books for review coming up, or at least they looked good when I agreed to read them.  I look forward to seeing what all you read this month and lets all cross our fingers that spring gets here soon.  Happy reading!