Saturday, April 18, 2015

"Me" Reads

You're probably expecting a post about the importance of reading non-review books, huh? Or maybe a list of non-review books I want to read soon. Or maybe something about my humongous finished-book TBR. I see a lot of people call non-review books "me" reads (as in "I want to focus more on 'me' reads"), so it would totally make sense to take this post in any of those above directions.

However, I'm going another way.

I really don't like the term. Well, I don't like the way it's used. It seems to be used mainly to refer to just non-review copies, but when I think of "me" reads, I think of any book that is for me regardless of who or where I received the book from. I think of the books that I usually love--the type that I enjoy reading the most. By this, "me" reads fall under any of the following categories:

  • Contemporary romance with at least some serious themes/issues (depression, drugs, abuse, divorce, death, etc.). This is usually a lot of realistic fiction.
  • Book by my all time favorite authors
  • Books with themes that will keep me thinking of them afterward
  • Emotional stories
  • Books I'm super excited to read
If you recommend me books that fit any of those descriptions, I will go into it with high expectations. They're usually really easy for me to love. They're the ones I go to when I want to read something I'm guaranteed to enjoy. Therefore, they're more "me" than, say, dystopias or third person POV epic fantasy.

ARCs that I considered to be "me" reads:
  • A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas (favorite author)
  • All the Rage by Courtney Summers (great author and favorite genre)
  • None of the Above by I.W. Gregorio (one of my most highly anticipated 2015 releases)
I don't like to separate these from the books that I own too much. It feels weird to exclude them from the "me" category when I own so many books that don't fit the type that I usually love. Keeping ACOTAR out of the category . . . it just makes me sad. I feel like I'm betraying the book by doing that.

Books I choose for review are normally as much for me as the ones I buy. I still choose them. A release date and an expectation is tied to it, but that doesn't mean that needs to be a bad or stressful thing. (My non-review TBR is much more stressful. I have over 200 print books and I-don't-want-to-know-how-many ebooks. My review TBR is so much more manageable.) You just need t learn how to manage or adjust to it. 

Speaking of stress . . . .

ARC stress gets to a lot of bloggers. I imagine that every blogger that has reviewed any of them (or other review copies) have felt at least a smidgeon of stress. *raises hand* I have! 

The separation between our books--between books that we have to read and books that we bought, were gifted, etc.--may add to that ARC stress. Depending on the person, it may be a little or it may be a lot. When we feel this obligation to read the book by a certain time and write at least x amount of words or paragraphs in your review, it has the ability to suck some fun out of the whole process.

My advice to minimizing stress? Try including some of your review copies when you think of your "me" reads. Don't make a huge distinction between your review copies and your non-review copies. It may take away some of that negative obligation and turn it into something more positive. It may help you manage ARC stress you may feel--or put you on the road towards managing it better, at least.

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