This isn't exactly a lesson in "be careful what you wish for"; it's not that kind of story. It's more like, "when wishing for something, be careful to manage your expectations well before you get in over your head."
At the beginning of this year, I set my New Year's Resolutions. One of them was to get at least 5 ARCs--advanced reader copies, which are the nearly-completed versions of books that reviewers receive before the book has been released to the public. I had been trying so hard to get ARCs that I thought 5 in a year would be the best I could do.
How wrong I was! I managed to get 5 ARCs within the first two months of the year! Imagine how proud I was that I'd finally figured out this once-secret code. After that, it seemed like they just poured in, and from multiple sources. I thought, I'll have new books to read for months! For a reader, it's a dream come true.
Before I knew it, I had myself a reading calendar, more or less. I noted the dates when the books I was being given were being published and, based on that, the dates I'd need to have read them by to write up a blog post in time for the publication date. Sounds easy, right?
Let me stop to interject here that I totally love this process and that I'm grateful for all the books I've received.
My problem now is that I've gotten so many that I'm rather behind. Who would have thought that between working full time, going to grad school, and attempting to have normal social interactions that I wouldn't have time to read 10 books in a month? Ha.
It's not that I don't want to read them all--I do!--it's that I can't seem to keep up. This is only exacerbated by the fact that the ebook downloads expire, so I only have a set amount of time in which to read them whether I like it or not.
Meanwhile, my poor, poor bookshelf is practically crying out for attention. My bookshelf with all my already-published physical books has been collecting dust for months. I keep shopping for books, yet my pile of unread ones just keeps growing. I don't feel guilty for not having read them; I just really want to read them but feel like I don't have time to squeeze them into my reading calendar.
I finally realized that I'm only one reader and there are a looootttt of books that come out at any given time. I came to the conclusion that I shouldn't try to review more than two advanced reader's copies per month because then I'd never get through my TBR (to-be-read) list.
I've got several ARCs to finish for May, but I plan to make June a more relaxing reading month. I mean, my back list has some marvelous authors on it--there's Toni Morrison, Junot Diaz, Ann Patchett, and so many more that I can't wait (any longer) to read. While my book reviews might be fewer and farther between, know that the ones I do post will undoubtedly be ones that I was burning to get my hands on.