#ARCAugust : Let’s Do This.

August 7, 2017


Those of you who hang out here fairly often know that I am quite the mood reader. This is awesome because I rarely run into books that I am unhappy about reading. I might rate them with 2 or 3 stars, but I still enjoyed the reading experience. However, this is also TERRIBLE because I have a tendency to drink aΒ bit too much champagne and request far too many books on NetGalley. Yup. I’m in a NetGalley ARC hole. And it’s so deep, I can’t even see the sun any longer.

Thanks to Gretchen @ Chic Nerd Reads, I heard about Read.Sleep.Repeat’s 5th Annual #ARCAugust! I don’t do a ton of reading challenges or readathons because they require me to break my mood-reading compulsion. And, well, I don’t like to do things I don’t want to. XD

But seriously, I think it’s time to kick my NetGalley backlist’s butt. Here are my goals for #ARCAugust:

  1. Read 2 ARCs.
  2. Write reviews for 2 ARCs.
  3. Post all 2 ARC reviews on NetGalley, Amazon, Goodreads, and my blog

It doesn’t seem like that much looking at that list, but this will be a really wicked challenge for me this month. I have quite a few book clubs books to get through, and I’ve been struggling to write reviews in a timely fashion. More on that in a future post. I won’t pick books specifically because, like previously mentioned MOODREADER. Thankfully (or perhaps not?) my NetGalley list is 14 books in the hole. O_o I have lots of delightful options.

Truthfully, my ultimate goal is that this reading challenge/readathon/whatever will jumpstart my NetGalley reading again. No more requesting until I’m back into that 80% range. Must read, review, and repeat. You can do this, Jackie! Say positive. You. Can. Do. This.

What do you think?

  • Are you participating in #ARCAugust? What’s on your TBR? What are your goals?
  • Do you have a love/hate relationship with ARC requests? Tell me about it!
  • What are your tips for staying on top of your ARC reviews?
  • Are you a mood reader? Why or why not?


  • Birdie August 7, 2017 at 11:36 am

    I love this challenge, but I just don’t have enough ARC’s to take part. I’m pretty good about only requesting what I’m planning to read on schedule.

    • Jackie B August 8, 2017 at 3:51 pm

      Good for you! I am such a sucker for new releases… I tend to binge request and have immediate regret. XD

    • Grab the Lapels August 9, 2017 at 9:52 am

      I definitely had to learn how to get good at it. When I started Grab the Lapels, my goal was specifically to read small-press books that most reviewers were ignoring or didn’t know about. When I realized I was reviewing books A YEAR after I had received them, I realized that wasn’t fair to anyone, so I stopped taking ARCs. I may request one here or there if the story really appeals to me or it’s someone I’ve read before and enjoyed, but even then, it took me forever to get through the pile I had. I’m always surprised that people get on NetGalley because I have so many books that I want to read from the library. I’m alone on that one though; everyone I know who blogs loves NetGalley!

      • Birdie August 9, 2017 at 10:45 am

        I actually don’t use the library much. I’ve never been good about returning on a time limit. I’m a buyer, for sure. And I do take ARC’s, but I only take a handful from NetGalley or Edelweiss, and I really work my schedule. I only request a book when I know I don’t have a review already scheduled before the release date. I think I only have like 9 pending on NG right now.

        • Grab the Lapels August 9, 2017 at 1:25 pm

          Nice job! Are you more of a physical books person, or an e-reader person? E-books are far more cost efficient, but I know people love to hold a “real” book, too.

          • Birdie August 9, 2017 at 1:31 pm

            I’m both. Usually I read on an e-reader and then if I love the book, I buy it in print. However, I’ve been known to get sucked in by a gorgeous cover. I also tend to read all my Fantasy series in print. There’s just something about Fantasy that needs a physical book. πŸ™‚

            • Jackie B August 10, 2017 at 5:06 pm

              Oh friends, I love seeing this dialogue on my blog! I started to respond so many times, but I didn’t want to interrupt and make a mess of the conversation. XD

              I *adore* my library. I typically reach for library books first, but sometimes I get weak and request all sorts of crazy things from NetGalley. I like the concept of it, but I am certainly a struggle bus with it a bit. O_o Oops.

              I’m on board with you, Birdie. I love how gorgeous physical books look of shelves. I typically buy the physical book after falling in love at the library.

              • Birdie August 10, 2017 at 6:46 pm

                So, it sounds like you do the same thing I do, except where I use ebooks first, you go to the library first. πŸ™‚

                I’ve always wished I was better about library usage. I always convince myself to go, check out books, and then I get in the same hole when it’s time to return. I always forget and then turn them in really really late… sometimes even years. :/

              • Jackie B August 12, 2017 at 12:30 pm


                Library usage is me since the nearest library is not only on my drive home from work, but also within walking distance from my house. I have definitely driven to the library after hours to drop books which are overdue in the box. But it’s a great habit I’ve developed, I think.

                Have you really turned books in YEARS late?! Did they just mark the book as lost by then? Or did you have the world’s largest library fee?

              • Birdie August 12, 2017 at 6:09 pm

                I really have, yeah. I feel awful about it. I’m pretty sure they mark the book as lost, but I did turn them back in. When it happens I remind myself how I’m just bad at it, and I give up my library card. For the betterment of the library, lol.

              • Jackie B August 12, 2017 at 9:42 pm

                D’aw. Well, to each their own! I don’t think I could EVER give up my library card. πŸ˜‰

  • Anna @MyBookishDream August 7, 2017 at 1:17 pm

    I tend to request way too many ARCs on NetGalley as well, which basically means I’m always behind on them. It doesn’t help that I have been reading a lot less this year than I usually do. Good luck with the readathon and the challenges! πŸ™‚

    • Jackie B August 10, 2017 at 5:03 pm

      Thanks, Anna! I completely understand what you mean about not reading as much as previous years. I still have plenty of book review fodder, but I feel like I’m constantly playing catch up with all my reading! Hopefully this will help me get back on the horse some.

      Good luck to you with catching up on your ARCs, as well!

  • Resh Susan @ The Book Satchel August 8, 2017 at 12:01 pm

    Lovely that there are challenges like these to motivate readers and bloggers to read more. I don’t have any ARCs with me at the moment. But this sounds fun! good luck to you.

    • Jackie B August 9, 2017 at 10:08 am

      Thank you! I love that these challenges also push us to expand our boundaries and self-defined limitations.

  • KrystiYAandWine August 8, 2017 at 5:15 pm

    I’m so glad you joined! And I laughed out loud when you said you drank to much champagne and got on Netgalley. LOL. That is so hilarious. Can’t wait to see which ARCs you end up reading. πŸ™‚

    • Jackie B August 10, 2017 at 9:41 am

      Yup. That’s 100% my personality. I love me some bubbly wine. It’s dangerous. I’m currently about 1/3 through 3 ARCs. This mood reading is kicking my butt. O_o

      • KrystiYAandWine August 10, 2017 at 5:30 pm

        I do love bubbly wines. They’re just so much fun! The month is just beginning still. You got this!

  • Adoptabookaus August 8, 2017 at 6:01 pm

    Getting Netgalley upto date is such a good feeling! I got mine to 95% and then went on a requesting spree so it went right back down again XD Mood reading and net galley are not the best of friends!

    Hope you love what ever you pick up and can get through a fair few <3

    • Jackie B August 9, 2017 at 8:04 am

      Hahaha– isn’t that just how it works? I must have been so great to see that 95%! Mood reading really interferes. I want to read that book when I request it, but less so when I am approved it seems. *shrug* Hopefully I can make a big dent! Thanks for the well-wishes!

      • Adoptabookaus August 9, 2017 at 5:59 pm

        I’m the same, I’ll be approved weeks later and have to go back and read the blurb because I’ve forgotten what it was even about xD

        • Jackie B August 10, 2017 at 9:24 am

          Thank goodness I am not alone! When I see everyone flying through ARCs, I feel like “Wow. I am on the struggle bus here…”

  • Chiara @ Books for a Delicate Eternity August 8, 2017 at 10:04 pm

    I actually participated in the first ever ARC August way back when, and it was a great way for me to knock off all the NG books I had requested as a newbie blogger. Nowadays I only really request books I know I 100% want to read in the near future, and I try to get them out of the way come their publication date! I usually review on the day my review is going up on the blog but sometimes that’s a long time after I’ve read the book so I end up doing a disservice to myself and my review :/ I hope ARC August helps you get your ratio up, Jackie!

    • Jackie B August 9, 2017 at 8:03 am

      That’s such a great pattern for working with NG. Do you write the reviews once you read the book, or only closer to the publication date? No matter what, I need to work on my interaction with NG on soooo many levels. I’ll try really hard to adopt some of your patterns. Thanks, Chiara!

      • Chiara @ Books for a Delicate Eternity August 10, 2017 at 10:38 pm

        I usually write my reviews when my review is going up – which is always closer to release date to when I read the book! Unless I am behind on review copies and only read the book just before publication date, haha.

        • Jackie B August 12, 2017 at 2:11 pm

          I am awful about keeping on top of my review copies– I rarely make it before publication! I need to put some sort of system or guardrails in place in order to help me improve this. Any suggestions?

  • Jordan @ The Heart of a Book Blogger August 9, 2017 at 5:38 pm

    I’m definitely a mood reader too, but I’m only letting my choices be books I need to read for review since it’s #ARCAugust. Luckily, I have a good variety from NetGalley so hopefully I will be able to get my ratio up!

    • Jackie B August 10, 2017 at 8:30 am

      Good for you! I have far too many book clubs I’m participating in, which is making my #ARCAugust more of a challenge to get through books. I just want to get back into the habit more than anything else. I wish you all the best getting through this. Thanks for stopping by and commenting, Jordan!

  • Dani @ Perspective of a Writer August 11, 2017 at 12:08 am

    Good luck Jackie! I find book club reads the hardest to get through because I had not a lot to do with picking them… I’m scaling back on what I request at Net galley but I impulsively go on there certain no one will give me a book them I get like 4 books all approved, lol… it only takes one visit to tank your percentage!! Two is a great goal though! <3

    • Jackie B August 12, 2017 at 6:14 pm

      That’s what happens to me, too! I get denied, denied, denied… then BAM! Suddenly I have a ton of books on my shelf. O_o So embarrassing. My percentage is just a WRECK right now. I’ve got 14 books waiting for review…

      I think book club books are the hardest to prioritize, but not the hardest to get through. I am a fairly dominant voice at my book clubs, I just wait until the last minute for some silly reason… O_o

  • Evelina August 13, 2017 at 4:29 pm

    xD you drink champagne while requesting? XD That sure sounds awesome.

    Two ARCs doesn’t sound too damn bad! You should be able to do this easily! Good luck anyway πŸ™‚ how many ARCs are you behind with on NetGalley? I’ve got like over a 50 to go xD Oh wait, here you are saying it’s 14. GIRL. YOU’VE GOT NOTHING ON ME. You shouldn’t even feel guilty yet xD not seeing the sun? How about I only reviewed 41 out of 106 xD those are real numbers. And only on NG. I don’t speak of Edelweiss or Story Cartel, or any freebies. Those are not in my count.

    So you can TOTALLY do this!! And you can say a prayer for me too, while you’re at it.

    • Jackie B August 15, 2017 at 11:32 am

      Oh yes. I typically do most of my requesting when I am drinking. After all, once you open a bottle of bubbles you cannot stop until it’s gone. Bubbles don’t keep. Darn. πŸ˜‰

      I know, I know! I’m ashamed of how small my TBR is at NG, and yet it intimidates me! I don’t know how you manage 65 unread books!!! Do you use Edelweiss, Story Cartel and others as well? I can’t imagine spreading beyond NetGalley only because I’m drowning here. That said, I’ve only done 21 total reviews compared to your 41. πŸ˜‰

      I will definitely be cheering for you from over here! Hopefully we can both make a dent this month.

  • Kelly | Kelly's Rambles August 14, 2017 at 3:20 pm

    It seems like you’re picking a sensible goal here, Jackie! 2 ARCs and uploading the reviews to NG seems like a good goal.
    I’m kind of participating as in I set a goal of reading 6 ARCs. So far I’ve read 2 and uploaded 4 NG reviews (including 2 from previous month) so not too bad! Have a few more planned before the end of the month!

    • Jackie B August 15, 2017 at 12:01 pm

      Thanks! I’m such a mood reader that I’m in the middle of 3 ARCs and I just keep bouncing back and forth as I feel like it. I really need to sit down and FOCUS my reading. Oy. Perhaps NG and I are just not meant to be friends? Who knows. In fact, most of the ARCs I’m reading are already published…. O_o

      That’s a great goal! I can’t wait to read your reviews. Good luck meeting your goals.

  • Nicola @ Thoughts on Fantasy August 18, 2017 at 1:18 pm

    Good luck with the challenge! I am also a bit of a moodreader so I can see how this would be difficult… I struggled a bit when I was in a book club for that same reason. But I always felt glad after I read the set books and could participate in the discussion (except maybe once or twice when I thought the book was terrible… though even then, it led to some interesting discussions πŸ™‚ )

    • Jackie B August 18, 2017 at 3:46 pm

      Thanks, Nicola! For some reason, book club books never feel like a chore. for me, and I think it’s the same reason. I love reading book club books, yes, even those I hate, completely so I can clearly defend my opinions and perspectives. πŸ˜€

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