As I posted earlier, I'm planning to write some more discussion-type posts in the future. I had previously posted about having the blogging blahs, and I think the stress of trying to read and review in order to have content for the blog was really getting to me. I keep reading all of these GREAT discussion posts (like Cass' Thursday Thoughts and all of the great discussion posts that Jaime @ The Perpetual Page-Turner posts) and I HAVE all these bookish thoughts, just never the guts to post them. So here goes.
During the summer, I had a major case of the blogging blahs. Part of this problem came from the pressure of having too many review books, with their corresponding deadlines, and not enough time to read the books I wanted. Plus, with a little one on my hands, I barely have enough reading time as it is.
I feel better about my review pile now, and some of this came from me learning to say the magic word NO. When I first signed up for Netgalley, I requested a ton of books, some of which I was really excited to read. I got approved for probably my first six requests, and all of a sudden had a ton of books to read with deadlines. I read some great books at first (like Someday, Someday, Maybe and Hopeless) and was really excited to be part of the process for sharing bookish love on release day. Then, I started reading a couple that weren't so great and, because I wasn't enjoying them so much, my review book pile got stuck and wasn't going down. But the approval e-mails were still coming in. So I put a couple aside, figuring that I'd come back to them in time.
Then I learned that Netgalley e-galleys EXPIRE. Whoops, didn't realize that! I had thought that it wouldn't matter if I went back to read the book a few months later, only to find out that my e-galley would no longer open. THEN the guilt started. I mean, I'd asked these publishers for permission to read and review the books, and the publishers had TRUSTED me enough to approve my request. And I had LET THEM DOWN. So I requested the books at the library and, after waiting FOREVER (my library is seriously slow at processing new titles), the books came in. It had been so long since I'd started reading them, so I had to start again. And you know what? I STILL wasn't enjoying the books. So I continued feeling guilty and was trying to force myself to read something that I wasn't liking. Stress stress stress.
So I realized something: it's okay to say that a book isn't for me. I wrote up a short little blurb, explaining to the publisher that I had tried to get into the book, but it just wasn't for me. In one case, it was the second book in a series and I had enjoyed the first one, but just couldn't get into the second book.
After I hit send on both messages, I felt like a HUGE weight had been lifted off my shoulders. I realized that it's okay to say no! Then I read a couple of GREAT review books and felt SO much better.
So, my question to you is this: how do YOU manage your review pile? Are you picky about the books that you request in order to narrow down your pile? What do you do when your review pile gets too large? Do you ever say "thanks but no thanks" after you've been approved to review a title?
As always, your comments make my day!