I was watching my Goodreads challenges and overall reading stats the other day and realized something. It turns out that I doubled my reading in the last 5 years.
That overwhelming, stunning increase in my reading statistics come from one thing you will see coming: book blogging. Is it because I’ve been surrounded by books more and more every single day? Is it because everyone is talking about all the books and I feel suddenly that need to read them all? Is is because, somehow I managed, as I grew as a blogger, to get the chance to read some books early on?
No matter the reason, the facts are here: I’m reading more than I ever did before and, if I love it, sometimes, it gets a little overwhelming.
As a book blogger, you’re reading so many books, especially if you’re getting involved in the community and the book blogging clichés. Meaning: you’re requesting and reading ARCs, you’re buddy reading with your friends, participating in readathons, anticipating some books eagerly and more. There is just so much to do and so much happening in your reading life, all of a sudden, you’re lost.
You know what: that’s me. I am lost and confused and sometimes screaming because of all the books. (But aren’t we all.)
So today, I thought I’d share some of my reading organization tips that have helped me over the years, that have made me freak out a little less, somehow.
📖 Requesting and reading ARCs as a book blogger : how to manage it all
I’m not going to lie: one of the most exciting things about being a book blogger is getting some incredible opportunities, reading ARCs being one of the most exciting. ARCs are Advance Reading Copies, by the way, a.k.a bound (or digital) copies of books you’re able to read months before the release date and review.
If ARCs are a fantastic opportunity, it’s also a trick, a trap you can fall into and, somehow never get out of. So here are my tips and tricks about ARCs…. you know, hopefully they will help you not fall into that trap, somehow.
🔍On ARC Requests
When you discover platforms such as NetGalley or Edelweiss, when you see all of these wonderful books you can, if you’re lucky enough, request, it’s so easy to get overwhelmed. It’s so easy not to know what you really want to read and click everywhere in a rush, wanting it all. I was that person, I sometimes still am.
Let me tell you one thing: don’t request too many ARCs, because if you get the chance to get approved for everything, you will be drowning in half a second and hating it all. Whenever I feel like hitting that request button, sending that email, I’m doing these things :
- REALLY take that extra second to read the book’s synopsis and wonder whether or not I really want to read it.
- Don’t stop at that book cover. At the hype you’ve heard about the book. THINK before hitting request or send. Like, one more second sometimes stops me from regrets.
If you do that, when you get that chance, when luck turns around and you get this book, the thrill will be even greater.
📝Reading your ARCs and organizing it all
The thing, with ARCs, is that you kind of have to read them and review them. That’s the whole purpose of it all. Publishers lose money making ARCs and sending them over for promotion, when they send physical copies. I’m not sure how that works digitally, but I’m sure either way, no matter what, when you have ARCs, know that something is expected of you here: reading and reviewing the book.
I’m one of these book bloggers always trying my best to read the book in due time and, as much as I can, review it as close to the publishing date as I can to promote it well, too and I found out that, the best thing for me to do that, is to keep track of them all in some way. I’m like Dory and I need this okay.
There are many ways you can keep track of your ARCs and, therefore, know what to read, when to read them and what’s ahead of you when it comes to reading, too. Here are some ideas of platforms you can keep track of it all on:
- An ARC or reading spreadsheet,
- A bullet journal, or journal or notebook of any kind,
- Google Calendar,
- Your phone Notes app,
- Trello, Evernote or any other kind of app to keep it all organized,
- Goodreads : make a specific goodreads shelf, for instance…
☂️If you’re looking for an ARC spreadsheet, I have one right here!
Friends, please also know that it’s okay if you’re a little under the weather, overwhelmed or burned out and can’t be on top of your ARCs list at the moment. These things happen and you’re human and allowed to take breaks, too, especially because you’re not getting paid for this all. Just remember to take care of yourself and be honest with the publisher, too, as to keep good relationships with them.
👯♀️ Buddy readings and Readathons
I honestly don’t do that many buddy reads and don’t do readathons or other reading challenges, mostly because I’m a mood reader, I don’t have all the books that could fit the challenges at my disposal, nor can I buy them right away.
THAT being said, buddy reading and readathons are all the rage in the book blogging community and I get why. You’re part of something big, you’re sharing awesome reads and it’s the best and, friends, I’m all for this.
Despite not being fluent in these kind of reading practices in the community, I noticed the way people are participating in these kind of events and, somehow, organizing themselves for it all. They keep track of their readathons with:
- Blog posts : stating their TBRs at first, showing their progress as the challenge goes on,
- Twitter threads : updated as they cross a new book off their TBR,
- Goodreads shelves : creating a specific shelf with the books they plan to read for the challenge, or plan to buddy read.
☂️ Also read: How to buddy-read.
📚 Books you want to read, your priority list and so on
There are so many books I want to read, I honestly don’t even know where to start, at times. I have so many books on my goodreads TBR and so many books I want to read, but I don’t want to read them all at specific times. There are books you’re more excited to read than ever, there are books you’re anticipating more than ever, books you don’t want to forget at all, books you want to read in priority as soon as you can afford to get new books or get them at the library, if you have that chance. With all the books we’re hearing about every single day, well…. there’s this one thing, as Ron says, we need to do.
Here are some ways you can keep track of them all, these books you NEED absolutely:
- Make a priority-to-read list on your goodreads shelves,
- Write the books you want in priority on your wishlist,
- or in a bullet journal, a notebook of some kind…
- Write blog posts about these books to keep you accountable all through the month or year.
❤️ Keep your love for reading alive
When there are so many books you want to read, being organized for your reading life is key, at least, for me.
Yet, I find it so important to remember why I’m here. I’m here because I love reading. While some people love to keep their TBRs organized at all times, know that, personally, if I don’t keep some mood reading in my organization, I’ll burn out.
Listen to your heart, always, even when there is too much to read, especially when you’re feeling overwhelmed. Pick up that book you want to read even if it’s not supposed to be prioritized at the moment. Leave that book alone if you feel like you need a break. Don’t get that book if you feel the hype screaming at you, but you’re not feeling that book so much.
Always, always remember, no matter how organized you want to be -or not- that reading is fun and you should keep it that way.
☂️ You might also be interested in: How to organize your book blogging life.
How do you organize your reading as a book blogger? Do you manage to keep track of your ARCs and books you want to read, or do you just… not?
Do you have some tips and tricks to share, when it comes to organizing your reading? I’d love to hear your thoughts in comments!