Do ARCs affect reading enjoyment? // Are they really that big of a deal?

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I’m not one of those bloggers who gets all the arcs. I do get some from my favorite bookstore – and I am incredibly lucky in that way – but I’m not that person who gets several a week, and I definitely don’t get a ton of super popular ones!

One thing I’ve noticed as I’ve started reading and reviewing the few arcs I get is that I definitely read them differently than I read other books. I tend to analyze them more, and I consciously and subconsciously think about what I’ll talk about in my review as I read. This is because arcs are given *to be reviewed,* not just to be read. Because of this, I usually end up liking arcs less than I would if they were just books to be read for fun. 

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It’s weird, though, because I review most of the books I read anyway. But I think there’s just more pressure when it comes to arcs, because I’ve been given them on the condition that I will review them, whereas for other books I read, writing a review is completely optional and something I do just for fun.

I’m speaking as someone who’s lucky enough to get arcs, and I know a lot of bloggers would LOVE to get physical arcs like I do and probably wonder what’s wrong with me right now. That I can understand!! I promise I’m not complaining.

For me, there are a couple of reasons arcs are awesome: 1) I get to read books I’m excited for early, 2) reviewing them can get attention for my blog, and 3) they’re free.

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It’s exciting to participate in the early buzz for a book, especially when it’s a book I’m really excited for and have been lucky enough to get to read early! Also, people are more likely to read reviews for a book they’re excited for, I think. Finally, I am not currently able to buy very many books, so it’s always thrilling to get a free book to read and review and keep, especially if it’s an anticipated release!

But sometimes I kind of dread the arcs a little, because I know some of my reading enjoyment will be ruined by my analyzing-arc-reading-style. It’s so hard for me to separate that out in my head, and I really wish I were better at that.

Here are some not-so-awesome things about arcs: 1) As I mentioned, I never like arcs as much as I like books I read after they’re published, even if I’m reviewing both 2) there is a ton of draaama surrounding arcs and 3) they’re going to be published, so why bother with the arcs?

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The not-liking-arcs-as-much is me. About drama: maybe I would see less of it if I stayed off Twitter xD. (honestly, that goes for a lot of drama xD) And obviously, it is far better to have something NOW than having to wait five billion years for it to be released. Obviously.

Basically, I’m wondering, am I the only one whose reading enjoyment is slightly ruined by the fact that a book is an arc? And am I the only one who thinks that juuust maaaybe arcs might be slightly overrated?

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Overall, though, I think the pros outweigh the cons. I will never get over going to pick arcs at the bookstore and finding one I reaaaally want to read and gasping because I can’t contain the excitement. But, what do you think? Let me know all your thoughts!!

29 thoughts on “Do ARCs affect reading enjoyment? // Are they really that big of a deal?

  1. WHOA YOU HAVE ARCS AT YOUR BOOKSTORE??? That’s so awesome! AHEM. Anyways, I haven’t gotten any ARCs yet (I’m starting to request them now) but I can see how it would affect my reading! Ever since I started reviewing every book I read (more like “RTC’ing” instead of reviewing 😂), I can tell I’ve 1) gotten pickier in my selection of books to read, 2) gotten more analytical of the books I’m reading, and 3) become more critical towards books and how much I REALLY liked them. I imagine it would be the same for ARCs, just more extreme. Great discussion, Lenna!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know!! It’s srsly a dream come true.
      Good luck on your arc adventure! I haven’t really tried requesting them. I’m not sure if I have enough followers. I’ll probably give it a try after my 6mo anniversary.
      Haha! My goodreads “reviews” are just a collection of RTC’s. xD.
      Definitely!! Those have all happened to me too.
      Thank you!!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Really good points! I feel the same way, I analyse an arc more than I would with a book I read for fun. I guess it doesn’t really matter, that’s why we are reading the arc anyway, to review it. But sometimes when I read an arc it’s like I’m reading it for fun!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I am so glad I’m not the only one!! It’s like you’re reading it to complete an assignment or you’re trying to find the good and the bad.
    But also some of the ARCs I get from work are ones I wouldn’t normally read so ita nice to get something different every once in a while.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Bah, I totallllyyy feel you on this. It’s not so much that I analyze them more, it’s just that I feel more pressure in regards to reading them?? Even when I don’t ask for them because as you know, I work at a bookstore so they’re kind of just shoved at me? Like, they seriously will wait for me to come in because they know I’m one of those employees who’s pay-check supports primarily their reading habits, so they’re like HEY YOU WANT ALL THESE, RIGHT?? IF NOT WE JUST HAVE TO GET RID OF THEM BECAUSE THERE’S NO WHERE TO HANG OUR COATS ANYMORE and I’m just like… um okay yeah um maybe one or two.
    NO, TAKE THEM ALL. Like oKAY GEEZ, FINE. Especially because I work at a book store that is a popular chain (take a wiiiiiiild guess), we do get a significant amount of ARCs.
    The only time I’ve requested ARCs is off of Netgalley when I know we don’t/aren’t going to get any at work.
    Honestly, I think if I attempted to request an ARC in your traditional “I’m going to email this publisher” way I would probably get rejected because my blog simply is just not big enough for that, and I don’t want to take them away from those who are not getting those sweet, sweet bookstore employee perks.
    I should pull an Oprah and be like EVERYBODY GETS ARCs!!!!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Right!! I feel like if I don’t like an arc I’m ruining a book’s chance of success, which is stupid.
      I’m kind of jealous of where you work xD. I recently applied to the aforementioned favorite bookstore, but they’re picky about who they hire and I’m obviously not done with school yet, so I doubt they’ll hire me :'(. At least if arcs are getting shoved at you at work, you’re not mandated to read them, right? just if you specifically request one from a publisher.
      I know!! There are some books that I would LOVE to have arcs for, but my blog is still pretty teeny. I think I’ll wait until I have 200 followers and have been blogging for at least six months, and then maybe try requesting a “smaller” title? WIsh me luck xD.
      Yes!! That should be a thing.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I WISH YOU LUCK. Also, I can always send ya a list of the arcs i’ve seen that you might be interested in and send ya them. It’s better that someone reads them when they’re just up for grabs, right?

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I notice when I am reading an arc that I tend to analyze it more than I would a regular book. But I definitely love reading books early! Sometimes the pressure gets to me though! Like, I have to read this arc by this date rather than read it when I feel like it. I find there are both pros and cons to arcs.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I haven’t gotten any arcs in a really long time but I do remember reading them differently to non-review books. I’d make sure that I was really taking things in and remembering them so that I didn’t get any information wrong and look like a fool in the review. And even though I did like the arcs I reviewed, I felt more pressured to give a good review and was kind of nervous that I wouldn’t like them and would have to send a negative review back.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Right? I’m always worried I’ll forget something, or give someone the wrong idea of a book before it’s even out. I forgot to talk about how there’s some pressure to like the review books, especially since they’re for publicity. That’s one thing I have a hard time with.

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  7. I totally agree with this! I used to request all the ARCS from Netgalley but I found that I didn’t enjoy a lot of them, so now I try to stick to requesting the ones that I either already wanted to read or that look extremely captivating. That means I get less ARCS but it also means I’m not as stressed also shout reading them!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I haven’t tried NetGalley, but I suspect I’d have a similar problem. Also I feel like I’d request way too many at once. I already struggle enough with the library xD. I’m glad you’ve found a way that works for you!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yesss omg I have done that too many times. The worst part is, you don’t know how many you’ll get approved for. You could request 10 and get approved for 2 or you could request 5 and get approved for all of them (OOPS). Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately???) the library here in Germany has only a very measly selection of books in English haha

        Liked by 1 person

  8. The only major benefit to ARCs is to get early reviews on a book on release day, and even then reviews are still very subjective. I don’t really read them differently than other books since I try to keep in mind that they’re not completed, but if I see a lot of grammar or typing errors I’ll usually try to highlight them to send off to the author/publisher. I can understand the dread of reading and reviewing them though, I feel guilty sometimes if I end up hating a book but I feel that being honest is better than over hyping a book. Great discussion piece!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah! I don’t worry about grammar since I know a lot of typos aren’t corrected in arcs, but I wonder how much of the plot/characters are fixed post arc production. Do you know?
      Yeah, I think so too. It’s still awkward sometimes though, haha.
      Thank you!

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  9. i totally agree with you. i also tend to analyze a book more completely when it’s an arc or galley, and then i end up liking it less than i might if i had read the finished copy. although maybe receiving arcs forces you to be more honest with yourself about the book and rate it more fairly?? idk.
    i definitely think that arcs are slightly overrated– they’re exciting to receive, but it’s a lot of pressure to be reviewing a book for publishers pre-release (at least i think so). i’m always afraid that i’m going to give readers the wrong idea of a book before it’s released and they can read it themselves!

    loved reading this discussion!

    madeline @ a paper reverie

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, those are good thoughts!
      Yeah, they are cool, but I guess I don’t understand why it’s so cutthroat sometimes? I especially don’t understand the obsession with collecting arcs after the book is already out.
      I worry about that too!
      Thank you 😀

      Like

  10. This is such an interesting question! For me, it doesn’t really influence me one way or another if a book is a final copy or an ARC – I review what I read and don’t really take any of that into consideration. Thanks for sharing and, as always, fabulous discussion! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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