State of the ARC: January 2018

February 2, 2018







State of the ARC is a meme hosted by Evelina at Avalinah’s Books used to track ARC progress and motivate us ARC reading slackers.

My friend Evelina at Avalinah’s Books and I have a problem: We tend to let our ARCs pile up. Yup, that’s right. Our Advanced Reader Copies quickly become Current Reader Copies. And in some situations, even become Old Reader Copies. That’s right–we both have ARCs which are over a year old. SUPER guilty!

Evelina decided to take matters into her own hands! Not only did she start this lovely meme, State of the ARC, for people to try to grapple with their love-hate ARC relationship, but she also started #ARCsAnonymous on Goodreads. This group is geared towards just pushing through the ARC pile and making a difference. All are encouraged to join!

December/January Progress

Somehow, I let State of the ARC fly past me last month and I never put a post up. Instead, I’ll cover both December and January in a single post.

The Meaning of Michelle: 16 Writers on the Iconic First Lady and How Her Journey Inspires Our Own edited by Veronica Chambers

A long time coming, this essay collection explored many aspects of Michelle Obama’s impact on the world which I never considered. Published in January 2017, I finished and reviewed the book in December 2017.  You can find my review here.


Peanut Butter and Jelly by Ben Clanton

A fun children’s graphic novel, this is the third in a wonderful series. I reviewed the first book many moons ago and completely loved it. The 3rd book isn’t as strong but is still a fun read. I read the book in January 2018 and the book is expected to be published in March. A review will be published closer to the publication date.

Current State of the ARC

ARCs read in 2018: 1 ARC

ARCs acquired in 2018: 4 ARCs

NetGalley Backlog: 16 books

Author Request Backlog: 3 books

Giveaways/Unsolicited: 5 books

Total ARC TBR: 24 books; 21 post-publication date


New year, new goal! This year, my goal is to read one ARC a month from NetGalley at a minimum. My current NetGalley feedback ratio is 55%. I hope to raise my feedback ratio to the coveted 80% by the end of the year through this goal. The trick here is that I’ll make my ratio goal if I keep my requests down… Limiting my requests will be key!

ARCs Acquired in January


First off, I want to point out I acquired NO new ARCs in December! Yaaaay! But, three of the ARC’s I received this month are from NetGalley. Darn. So much for keeping my requesting down! And TWO of them I requested at the suggestion of Evelina herself (How are we supposed to overcome these obstacles if we are enabling each other to keep requesting ARCs?!)! Ah well. C’est la vie. I did manage to read Peanut butter and Jelly this month; quality progress.

The fourth ARC, Let’s Talk About Love, I won as part of a Swoon Reads Twitter giveaway. I couldn’t be more excited to read Let’s Talk About Love, a tale of a bi-romantic asexual couple, hence it being on my February to read list. Plus, this fits the State of the ARC reading theme for the month: Love.

Tentative ARCs To Read for February:


You might notice that both of the books I’ve tentatively slated to read in February are new acquisitions. The age-old debate is: Do I read and review the newer books in an attempt to submit reviews prior to publication? Or do I whittle down the backlog in an attempt to catch up? 

What do you think?

  • What is your philosophy on reading ARCs? Do you start with the newest or the oldest?
  • Do you participate in State of the ARC? Share your post below!
  • What ARCs are on your to be read list for February?


  • Jillian February 2, 2018 at 9:22 am

    (Side question.) What do you do with ARCs once you’ve read them? I never know what to do with mine. I’m not sure if giving them away is right? Obviously they can’t be sold. And it feels WRONG to throw them out, so there they sit?

  • Grab the Lapels February 2, 2018 at 10:50 am

    Two summers ago I used Cathy’s 20 Books of Summer Challenge to clear about the ARCs I had, many of which were no longer “advance” of the publication date. Since then, I have not requested ARCs. I wait for publishers I trust to approach me, I check my calendar and see where I can fit the book in, and then I agree to read it by the time we agree on. This is one reason planning out my reading for the year really helps: I can see where shorter books got stuck together and can be flexible about accepting a new ARC and know when I can read it by.

  • (Danielle) Books, Vertigo and Tea February 2, 2018 at 11:59 am

    Oof the old Netgalley backlog. I started with 0 and am back up to 3. But I have stopped requesting haha. I know oh to well where that path leads 😉

  • Jamie @ The Last Page February 2, 2018 at 12:47 pm

    My NetGalley backlog is intense and I don’t even want to think about it. XD I got approved for way more books than I had anticipated whoops. Exciting that you got Let’s Talk About Love, that’s one that I really wanna read! I read Herding Cats last month and loved it. 🙂 Good luck digging through your ARC pile!!

    • Jackie B February 11, 2018 at 12:06 am

      Right?! That’s how they get you. I didn’t realize when I first started how many books I might get approved for right away; I assumed approval was MUCH rarer! Look at what I know. O_o But it’s a ton of fun to read books early. I just hope I can find the time to make some dents in my NetGalley backlog this year!

      You should totally join State of the ARC if you haven’t yet. Evelina is definitely keeping me focused and on track this way. 😉

  • Stephanie Jane February 2, 2018 at 2:32 pm

    NetGalley should come with an addiction warning! I did manage to post a review there today without requesting any new books though. Mainly because there hadn’t been many added since Wednesday 😉

    • Jackie B February 11, 2018 at 12:05 am

      I know, right?! XD It’s amazing how easy it is to click the Request button… O_o I almost wish there was an app or something I could turn on which would ask, “Are you sure? Before clicking Request Now, make certain you review that your Review % is only 54%” That might save me… but then again, it might not!

  • Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction February 2, 2018 at 9:09 pm

    I’m really interested in Let’s Talk About Love as well—can’t wait to see what people think!

    • Jackie B February 11, 2018 at 12:00 am

      I’m so glad that you’ve heard of Let’s Talk About Love; sometimes I feel like I am alone in a vacuum with this book! I cannot wait to start it… this is next on my TBR shortlist!!! <3

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting, Nicole! I really appreciate it.

  • Annemieke February 3, 2018 at 1:35 am

    Ah requesting is the hard part. I’m lucky I’m not in US. Not many get approved and lots are only wish only for me haha. I just got Herding Cats last night too. So I am hoping to have a go at that today after I have dropped merijn of at his grandpa.

    • Jackie B February 3, 2018 at 9:24 am

      The whole way that NetGalley is handling international requests is really frustrating to me. I don’t understand why it matters! I wish they had some sort of Press Release or something explaining this change. It just feels mean.

      At least you have access to the Read Now books! I really have enjoyed Herding Cats. Sarah Andersen’s works always put a smile on my face. And the last section is really powerful!

  • Amanda @Cover2CoverMom February 3, 2018 at 8:28 am

    Oooo I really need to start participating in this! I have 42 OLD NetGalley ARCs… most from 2016 ((hangs head in shame)) BUT I am determined to keep on plugging along. My motivation is that I will not allow myself to request any books until I am all caught up. It is going to happen lol

    • Jackie B February 3, 2018 at 9:23 am

      I believe in you!!! Many of my books are leftovers from 2016. I don’t have quite as many leftover ARCs… but most of them are books I’m not particularly interested in reading, honestly. That’s back when I didn’t understand how the whole process worked!

  • Laila@BigReadingLife February 3, 2018 at 12:01 pm

    I feel like one of the few (not the only, since I see Melanie at GTL doesn’t) who doesn’t request ARCs. I do enter Good reads giveaways, but I’ve only won that 3 times, and not in like 3 years. Anyway, I just have so much I want to read and I don’t want to feel under pressure to read and write about something by a certain date. But I think you sound like you’ve got a good system and good organization going for your ARCs! Maybe you could read one new one and then one from the backlog, alternate them.

  • Evelina @ AvalinahsBooks February 3, 2018 at 1:35 pm

    Yayyyy thank you for joining up! BTW, you had some sort mistake in your link in the linkup, so I just added another link, this time correct 🙂

    Hey, lol! We have the same NetGalley ratio, currently! Wow.

    YOU GOT LET’S TALK ABOUT LOVE OH MYYYY I WANT THAT!!! Oh, you won that – AWESOME!! I’ll be super curious about your opinion. And also, hey, The Girl is definitely worth it, and you know you wanted Herding Cats, plus, it’s not really even any challenge to read it, it’s so short :DDD

    As for the backlog issue, I usually prioritize the new ARCs, because they will still lose something if I don’t review them. The old ones are kind of a lost cause here – they don’t gain much more, regardless of whether I review them now, or a month later, meanwhile for a new ARC, that month could mean the world!

    • Jackie B February 6, 2018 at 9:48 am

      OY. I was trying to do the link-up from my phone because I was heading out of town and apparently I mucked that up. Thank you for correcting it for me! I hope to do better in the future. 😉

      How on EARTH do we have the same NetGalley ratio if you are reading 1.5 billion ARCs a month?! Girl. We need to suspend your NetGalley license for a while.

      I KNOW I AM SUPER EXCITED FOR Let’s Talk About Love! I am not normally seeking out contemporary romances, but reading the Anna and the French Kiss series recently captured my heart. I cannot wait to read this book.

      That’s a good philosophy about the ARCs. Read the new ones first. That’s about where I stand, but it’s nice to hear other philosophies too!

      You are the best and worst influence on my life. Please stick around.

  • Anna @MyBookishDream February 8, 2018 at 6:01 am

    Good job on getting through some ARCs! It’s always nice to make progress with them. 🙂 I’m currently working on reducing the number of ARCs that I have, as I had fallen very behind on them. (I’m blaming the year long slump from 2017.) It’s actually going really well, I have ended up reading quiet a few ARCs and currently only have 4 unread ones. And I plan on getting around to those as soon as possible! 😀 Good luck with reading your ARCs!

  • morethangeekylove February 12, 2018 at 5:00 pm

    OOOOOH this meme is really awesome! I just recently found out about it and Eve is doing an amazing job. As always great post Jackie and I also read Herding cats by Sarah i gave it 3 or 4 stars I really liked it but could not related to the majority of the topics there, nonetheless I still love her art and appreciate what she;s wants to deliver.

    Luckily for me I have only 5 ARCs from NetGalley and about 3-4 books sent by authors so I hope to get to them ASAP!! Deadlines and I have some LOVE-HATE relationship sometimes XD Also I would love to participate in State of the Arc !!

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