Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Wednesday Chatter: Musings About ARCs And ARC Bans

Wednesday Chatter @ Ruby's Books

Wednesday Chatter is a weekly feature at Ruby's Books where we'll be talking about anything and everything related to books and reading. Click here if you want to see what we talked about in the previous weeks

WARNING: Some bad words might be used in the following post. Don't say I didn't warn you!


This post is brought to you because I was naughty and broke my self-imposed ARC ban with signing up for 4 blog tours (I am a weak, weak individual) and Soph @ Bookwyrming Thoughts held me accountable and gave me this punishment topic.


Why You Don't Actually Need The ARC You Really Really Want During An ARC Ban

I have a confession: I have an ARC problem. Because I have a lot of overdue ARCs I have to read and I feel quite guilty about them I've decided to go on a temporary ARC ban. I'm only allowed to sign up for blog tours for authors I've worked with in the past. I've been on an ARC ban since July and it's been an interesting experience. When I broke my ban because I wasn't able to resist signing up to some unplanned blog tours and Soph gave me this punishment topic to talk about it got me thinking about why I had that feeling of "I need these books" when I signed up for the blog tours, as well as what requesting ARCs meant long-term. It led to some pretty interesting results, people.

Source: Giphy

I feel like before we start I need to add this: I've been on an ARC ban before, ages ago. I went a year without looking at Netgalley and it was absolutely, positively miserable

The fear of missing out is big. Since the hype is always with upcoming books, bloggers and reviewers try to ride that wave as long as they can. There's a pressure to stay current, even if sometimes that pressure is something we put on ourselves. I acknowledged that feeling in myself even before I went on an ARC ban, but right now I realized that the feeling is totally irrational. Unlike what happens with doll prototypes that sometimes never get to be mass-produced, books will be published. So the feeling of not being contemporary or not riding the wave of popularity isn't real. So what if you don't have the ARC? If it's a book you really want to read, you'd probably go ahead and buy it or borrow it and you'll still get to read it. 

I'll admit that during this month I did check out my usual ARC spots, but realizing that I'm not actually missing out on anything made me feel like a weight was lifted off of my chest. Now I know what you're going to say. "But Ruby, you signed up for four blog tours". You're right, I did. But that's because I had a weak moment. I'm not saying I won't join tours or I won't request in the future, because that is a lie and it's a pointless lie too. But I'm more conscious about what I'm requesting and what I'm signing up to, and I'm less disappointed over the idea that I don't get to read a certain book before it publishes. Because, once again, I still will get to read it in the future.

I'm sifting through my overdue ARCs and I realize that by chasing new releases I miss out on older books that deserve the same amount of attention. I went through some older review copies and with a few I had this overwhelming urge to kick myself for not getting to them faster.

Another thing that I realized with my ARC ban is that sometimes the hype around an upcoming book makes me not pay attention to my instinct when it comes to a certain book. I know myself very well and I am usually right when I think I'll like or dislike a book. The hype around a book kind of makes me want to completely ignore that initial reaction. Sometimes the results are amazing and I end up loving a book I thought I would dislike, but I've also had a few situations in which I was right to think I wouldn't enjoy a book. So unfortunately I have DNFed a few books since this ARC ban started.

Do we need ARCs? Not really. Do we want ARCs? Yes, yes we do. So although I definitely won't be requesting as many ARCs as I have going forward, I won't stop requesting them completely.

Let's discuss: Have you ever put yourself on an ARC ban? If yes, how was it? Did you manage to keep it, or were you naughty like me and broke it? 
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