Tuesday, April 7, 2015

SoLSC My Love/Hate Relationship with ARCs 4.07.15


Slice of Life is a weekly event hosted by Two Writing Teachers.

                                                                     Advanced Reader's Copies.

I have a major love/hate relationship with them.


I have itchy fingers syndrome.  Do you have that?  It's when you hear about a new book, one that may not be out for awhile.  One you can't get your fingers on for a bit.  And then your fingers start twitching.  They get itchy.  They just want to hold that book.  Happens all the time.  When I know I can't have immediate access to a book, well, it makes me want it more.

I'm not one who gets ARCs sent to me.  The majority of my current ARCs came from last year's NCTE or this year's ALA.  That was ARC heaven!  I have received them in the mail from different publishers, usually because I was lucky and I retweeted something in time!

Having an ARC and being able to tell people about the wonderful reading they have ahead of them is exciting.  Sharing book love makes my heart happy.  There is something special about passing along something new. 

I love having the newest of things.  They're shiny.  They have a special smell to them.  And if they're books, there is something to cracking a spine (well, not all the way, because I hate making that first crack in a paperback).  ARCs, even though they are paperbacks, still have that newness about them.  They make me current and way up to date!

But.... there's the flip side

(well, not really hate.  That's a strong word.  But since we're talking love/hate relationships, I have to stick with the word.  Really it's just dislike)

Well, first of all, I really don't get that many ARCs, so it's not a huge issue.  I keep saying I want to get them, but really, I'm not so sure.

The biggest problem I have with ARCs is that so often, I hear that the author makes changes from the advanced copy to the published book.  Often they are small changes, that probably wouldn't change the overall reading experience for me.  But sometimes they are bigger changes.  That makes me feel like I need to reread the book - the published book - because I want to have read the book that everyone else is reading.  And honestly, I really don't have time for rereading.  I have nothing against it.  I've reread the Harry Potter books multiple times.  Each.  I just have so many other books already purchased, waiting for me to read.  I feel like I can't stop and reread a book.  But I want to... I read Fish in a Tree in September, but I hear that were several small changes.  I want to reread that one again, for sure.  I've held off on reading Liesl Shurtliff's Jack because I've heard, from her, there were a lot of changes.  I really need someone to come up with a way to make sleep unnecessary.  Because there would be a lot more reading time in my life!

The other problem I have, and it's not so much a problem with the ARC, it's that I have so many books to read!  I'm a book connoisseur.  I purchase books endlessly.  I pre-order books.  I can't go in a bookstore without buying books.  I figure they are well worth the money spent.  Each book is read at least twice - once by me, once by my daughter.  Sometimes three times if I pass it along to my husband (he's getting The Crossover next).  Some go to my nieces.  Probably 90% of my books go into my classroom.  I'm a reading specialist and I pass my books on to my students, but then they pass them on to their classmates.  You should see the amount of kids that come to my room to check out books - I run library #2 at school!  So I feel like the amount of money I'm spending on a book, really goes the distance.  But I have so many, I have a hard time juggling ARC reading vs. reading the books I have and getting them to the kids.  If I really love an ARC, I buy a copy.  Publishers don't give out ARCs for classroom copies.  They are depending on us to book talk those books and then get people buying the published books.  So it's hard to always read an ARC when I have a book that is waiting for a child to read.

What are your feelings on ARCs.  Do you have itchy fingers syndrome?  What ARC are you dying to get your hands on (for me it's Katherine Applegate's Crenshaw, I don't think it's out yet, but once it is, I'll have to sit on my fingers!)


  1. I generally love ARCs because it feels privileged, like a sneak peek. I don't generally read books more than once, unless they are beloved from my own childhood (Little House, Charlotte's Web. . .) I suppose not having the most edited/revised copy is a risk I'm willing to take in order to have a first look!

  2. This is one feeling: They have a special smell to them. And another: a way to make sleep unnecessary! Really, sometimes I do love to get a book ahead from NetGalley, but I don't have time for too many, so. . . I guess I just keep reading, Michele. & hope I don't miss much that's really new! (Can't wait for Jack! I really liked Rump!)

  3. I pick up ARCs from a local independent bookstore and then share them with the students in our after school book club, but sometimes I have to read them first. Now you make me want to read Fish in a Tree again. I picked it up at NCTE also. Never enough time for reading, sigh.