Remember all my little reminder posts about me going to the RARE´19 London book signing? Well, I thought it was time to organize a suitcase. To my utter shame, I don´t own a medium or small suitcase. When I travel, it´s usually with a duffle bag, backpack or a larger sports bag ( I apparently like to carry shit ).
As I was complaining to my bestie about having to buy a suitcase for my 24 hour London trip ( that´s right. I´m flying in Saturday morning and flying back out Sunday morning ) she mentioned I could use hers.
The signing isn´t due for another few weeks. I didn´t need to get the suitcase right away. But I kind of did. I´m at an author signing event with 150 authors. There´s a high possibility I´m coming home with books. So, I need to plan things out.
How many books am I able to fit into a small hard-shell suitcase?
First, let´s look at the suitcase I´ll be traveling with. The idea is to fly in with a nearly empty suitcase and fly back with hopefully something that doesn´t weigh more than 20-ish kilos. The object at hand:
The size looks fairly decent, right? And it´s pink. It´ll be easy to spot at the luggage belt. It was time to start my experiment. Sloppy Book Tetris:
10 semi-large books ( and a hoodie ). 400-500+ page books with a few 280-page books thrown in. To say I was surprised would be an understatement. Hell, I thought I wouldn´t be able to fit any inside. Not bad. Not bad, at all. ( excuse my purse in the background )
15 230+ page novels ( and a hoodie ) fit in the small hard-shell suitcase ( excuse the remote control in the right pic ).
And the best part? I still have a little room for 1-3 books with either option! I think I got this book luggage down.
So, to answer the question in the title- 10 large paperbacks and 15 thinner novels ( give or take a few ) fit in a small-sized hard-shell suitcase. That, and a hoodie AND a small vanity bag I stole from my daughter ( because I don´t have one of those, either ).
In case anyone has questions about packing a suitcase for a book signing… Just ask me. I feel like a damn pro now.
That´s it for today, my dear book-loving people. I hope this was somewhat helpful and less boring. We´ll talk about this again when it´s due day and I´m in full panic mode.
It´s time for the unthinkable – Time to clean out the bookshelves!
I know, right? It hurts to think about permanently removing books from a bookshelf. I don´t like it either, to be honest. It pains me just as much as it would hurt any other book lover / hoarder /collector/ ( or whatever we like to call ourselves ). It´s also November. A bridge month between Halloween and Christmas. I have nothing else to do besides spring clean, or should I say… autumn clean?
But, if we´re all honest with ourselves… not every book on our bookshelves is worth the spot it´s occupying. And I´ve had it up to here * holding hand up and leveling it with my cheekbone * looking at the books I didn´t like or haven´t read. Why should I keep what I thought wasn´t out of this world great?
So I have a plan. One that might work in my favor. Trust me, I´ve thought about this for a long time ( exactly 20 minutes ) and am totally okay with this master plan of mine. This might sound a little savage to you lovely bookworms out there… but I assure you, no harm has been done to books nor do I intend to harm any books mentioned in this post.
The TBR pile. That blasted, grief giving pile needs a clean out.
From a logical point of view – There shouldn´t even be a to – be – read list. Read what you want and move on to the next book, right? If one would actually do this then there wouldn´t be such a flipping list. We´re not looking at this from a logical point of view, though. Readers / book bloggers keep piling book after book on each other, feeding the ever starving TBR list. Why do we do this? Because we like to read. It´s an endless cycle I´m about to break for myself.
The problem with my TBR pile / list is: I have books on that list that I´ve bought 5 years ago. And once a week I remove the dust off those TBR books and watch them collect a new layer of dust all over again.
My master plan: SORT THEM OUT! That´s right. You read correct. I AM FED UP! * waves arms dramatically in the air * I will no longer put up with the misery that´s attached to a TBR list. So, I began. And guess what? I got rid of nearly half of my physical TBR books.
How did I do that, you ask? I´m glad you asked. I figured… since my tastes have changed over the years.. my taste for certain books might have changed as well. I was right!
We all need to sit down and ask ourselves WHY certain books land on a TBR list. My reasons are:
The book sounded interesting, but not interesting enough to make me want to drop everything and read immediately
The book looked good
The book was recommended by a friend
I have a very peculiar taste when it comes to books. I read romances but not all types of romances. I read paranormal and fantasy but not all types. I´m super picky when it comes to sub genres and often, when I get a book, I find out much later that it has certain elements included that I don´t really fancy. So, those books land on my TBR list because I can read it in the far future,.. possibly when I have nothing to read.
* insert hysterical laugh *
Another thing I´d like to say about the nerve wrecking TBR list. Once a book lands there, there´s no telling when or if I´ll ever read it.
I bid all my former TBR books farewell. It was nice dusting you off.
Now, let´s get to the nitty gritty of my bookshelf clean out.
This won´t come to a huge surprise to you all but… I have a shit load of books. So many that one might think I have a problem. The main spot for my books: My livingroom. Then bedroom, bathroom, basement, kitchen, car…. I have books everywhere around the house. This means I actually had no flipping clue how many books I actually have.
The results, after collecting all the books and placing them in my livingroom, were shocking.
There is a positive side to this, though. If I read a book and wander around with it then it´s actually a good sign. It means I couldn´t put the book down! But, by God… so many books scattered around the house.
Unfortunately, these books are also on the clean – out list. Books from series I´ve started and never really felt the need to continue, book series I totally forgot about, etc. The list is ENDLESS!
I´m not the only one to blame here. It´s not entirely my fault that I´ve lost interest in most series. I put half the blame on authors who don´t think it´s revelant to publish within a year´s time span ( I predict a dark future for the next Game of Thrones book).
So, my new goal will be to organize EVERY book I have and categorize them in different sections. Beware though. I´m a complete beast when it comes to organizing shit. I´m one of those super anal organizers who buy a pack of multi – colored rhinestones and sort them out by color in one night. Organizing books will be a piece of cake!
As much as I love to organize by color, I´m going to do the following:
Organize books by;
Series / Standalones
Then I will take stock of what I have, who´s apparently my favorite author and begin to sift out what´s hot and what´s not.
Everything with a 4 star and above stays
Everything with a 3 star gets a reread
Everything with a 2 star and beneath needs to go
It´s that simple.
This will not only help create more space on my bookshelves, it will also keep me more focused on keeping my TBR list to a minimum and being more conscious about buying my next read.
With that being said- I feel absolutely great about this whole bookshelf clean – out. It´s cleansing in the best way possible!
NOTE: All sorted out books will not land in a book graveyard. They´ll be kept in a box until they find good, loving and caring homes.
ON ANOTHER NOTE: Personalized signed books will land in my ever trusting IKEA storage box, where I keep all my other golden book babies.
Tell me: What do you do with your TBR list? Do you clean out your bookshelves once in a while or does your collection just keep growing? I´d love to read your thoughts!
Have a wonderful day and don´t forget to share the book love!
Book bloggers who interact with authors and hang around Netgalley will know what an ARC is. For the rest of the world who´s always asked themselves what the abbreviation means… I´m here to help!
And now you´re thinking: “WOW! Those book bloggers get free books from publishers / authors directly? That´s awesome!”
You´re right. It is AWESOME.
Us book blog folks can´t really complain when it comes to receiving books before they hit the bookshelves.
But receiving ARCs comes with a price. It´s not just about getting free, yet to be published, books.
Granted. The price we pay isn´t necessarily high. But it´s tiresome and even taxing over time. But sometimes reading those ARCs can be rewarding.
I think it´s fair to add that there is a difference between traditional published and self-published ARCs. And then there´s Netgalley, which is a whole different level of giving out unpublished free copies to readers.
Traditional published advanced copies are usually reserved for journalists, celebrities, major blogs. Of course, any every-day-book-blogger can receive a traditional published ARC, as well. It just involves a little more work and luck.
Self-published ARCs are much easier to get our hands-on. We either wait for an open opportunity to add ourselves to a list or an author may ask us directly if we´re interested in reading an ARC.
Or, we hop over to Netgalley and include ourselves to a list there and then hope for the best.
Either way – ARCs come with a set of rules. These rules may vary but the core of rules is always the same.
Do not forward the book to a third party
Must leave a review ( either before or after or directly on publication date )
Include publisher/authors name
Meet the deadline
Don´t publish a review with less than a 3-star rating. ( not a mandatory rule, but it still pops up once in a while )
So, basically you get to read for free if you promise not to let anyone else read the unpublished book and if you include the publisher/author in your review by thanking them for letting you read the free copy then everyone´s happy.
Many book bloggers will mention that the book they´ve read was an ARC in their reviews. Sometimes it´s even asked of us book bloggers to add a small recognition line in our reviews. That might look something like this:
“I received an Advanced Readers Copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review”
A simple line, right? That can always be easily worked into a review before it´s published. That line might raise some questions to a normal reader who´s only looking for his/her next read, though.
No matter how a book blogger receives an ARC the rules stay the same.
Don´t do shit you promised not to do! Do the shit you promised you´d do!
The price we pay is truly small compared to what we´d normally spend after the ARC hits the bookshelves.
Are Advanced Readers Copies worth it?
I´d say yes and no. Yes, because it´s a fabulous way to get our hands on new books and ARCs are kind to our wallets.
No, because book bloggers tend to agree to read more ARCs than they´re able to fit into their schedule
Let´s do simple math that displays what I´m talking about:
2 ARCs a week = 8 ARCs a month = better have a calendar or else you´re screwed.
And then there´s that issue when you want to DNF the ARC. You have to contact the publisher or author and give details as to why you can´t continue to read.
Meeting a deadline is also sometimes exhausting.
Life is often not nice to us book bloggers. Sometimes we have to hop back to reality and can´t meet a deadline. You have to contact the publisher or author and explain why.
So, are ARCs truly worth it?
Sort of. Kind of. It depends on what type of person/book blogger you are.
ARCs Then & Now
Nowadays, 98% of all ARCs come in e-book format. Why? Because it´s much easier and quicker. There´s no hassle with printed ARCs and no shipping issues. ARCs flow from one device to another within seconds or a few hours. ARCs these days look like this:
Or, dare I share this little gem from Netgalley:
A few years back, though, there were still publishers and authors who made a point of giving out printed advanced copies to readers.
Weird, right? Hardly imaginable in the day of modern technology yet they existed. Printed ARCs were a thing and I miss them dearly.
These days, authors love to give out e-book arcs because they´re efficient. Low cost and no wasted effort.
And many authors have misunderstood the meaning of an ARC. The roots of ARCs.
What was once an uncorrected proofread turned into a nearly finished – finished project ready to hit sales.
Let´s do a quick listing of things that made ARCs different from the past and now.
ARCs Back Then
No final cover image
The story wasn´t final
Paperback format came as a naked product
Readers gave feedback on the proofread and THEN the whole book was combed through again before it would be published, 3 – 6 months later with a cover image.
handed out in exchange for an honest review
often final product
often comes with a finished cover image
In short: readers receive a copy for review purposes and then the book gets published within 1-3 months ( or less ).
So, the idea of an ARC has changed over the years. And then there´s the time issue. We live in a fast living world. If authors/publishers don´t get said book out yesterday then the genre might go out of style tomorrow.
There´s hardly any time to send out a paperback ARC across oceans to the opposite side of the world when the same thing can be sent via technology within a blink of an eye.
Makes sense, right?
It still doesn´t change the fact that I don´t like ARCs, no matter what form they come in.
They´re added work. The story has to sound freaking special before I accept an advanced copy.
Do you like to read Advanced Readers Copies? How often do you accept ARCs?
Let me hear your thoughts! I´m dying to discuss this topic with you.
While some of you might see only 2 out of the 3 as a true problem.. I consider all 3 points a pain in my spring chicken bum.
Time is always working against me. There´s never enough money at the right moment for the newest release / newly discovered book. And that good for nothing, ever-growing TBR list keeps getting longer by the day / week / month.
The Struggle is real.
It´s like a vicious cycle that never ends.
If I do, by some miracle, have money for books, then I usually don´t have time to read.
The end result: I buy the books I want and they land on the TBR pile. And since I avoid ebooks I literally have a pile of unread paperbacks, neatly stacked somewhere safe, with the false promise that I´ll one day read those books. ( I have more unread ebooks but since I´m avoiding my Kindle… those may never meet my eyes )
It´s the same crap every month.
But it´s time to break the never-ending cycle. It´s time to be the breaker of TBR lists.
I am so done. Fed up. Tired of looking at all the pretty paperbacks and thinking I´ll get to those one day.
The brutal truth is- I bought all those books for a reason. TO READ THEM. At some point in my life, they all sounded awesome. Why I haven´t read them?
Because something always got in my way. New releases, social life, the latest fb gossip, a hot bubble bath session, dinner… There was always something that kept me from diving into the books on my dusty TBR list.
My grande idea: To tackle the TBR list.
Now, hold on a minute.
I know there´s no way I will EVER be able to get rid of the mile long TBR list. I´m doomed for life. All book lovers are. Even the occasional readers who have miniature TBR lists are doomed. There´s no escaping. We´ll all die with a TBR list one day. ( What an awful thought. Bah. )
But wouldn´t it be fab if our lists weren´t a mile long?
Think of all the money we could save if we touched the books we already possess instead of buying new ones or accepting new advanced reader copies!
So, the idea of tackling the TBR list is there. Now on to the next step.
How Does One Tackle The TBR List?
I can´t speak for others but my idea looks like this:
Avoid social media
And while avoiding the internet altogether I´ll do the unthinkable.
Pick a book from my TBR pile and start reading.
Pick another book after I´ve finished the last.
Pick another one until the TBR list looks somewhat presentable.
Sounds pretty simple, right? Well, it is simple in theory but it won´t be an easy task. I can already smell the sweet scent of failure in my near future. That doesn´t mean I can´t try, right? RIGHT?
So, let´s raise our drinks ( Mugs, cups, flutes, bottles ) and make a toast!
HERE`S TO TRIMMING THE EVIL TBR LIST!
How long is your TBR list and have you ever attempted to downsize it? If you have then tell me your secrets! I´m dying to know how you did the unthinkable.
If this post has inspired you to tackle your own TBR list then feel free to join in on the fun! Shared pain is half the pain! Let´s create a miracle together. If not then I´ll be sure to give you updates on how I´m suffering from not buying the awesome new releases. But be warned- I´ll be moaning and nagging a lot while reducing the TBR list.
Something happened Monday. Something rather confusing and a bit scary.
Since I´m currently suffering from a cold I can´t really be bothered to read or do some much-needed book shopping ( as if I hadn´t already done that a few days ago * sigh * )
So, I used my Monday to sort out my bookshelves and the treasures I found there….you won´t believe it.
At first, I stumbled upon a book I absolutely love. `Easy` by author Tammara Webber. It´s an older book but still…. It´s a Young Adult classic I absolutely adore.
After swooning over that book I saw the same book in the same row, just a few paperbacks away.
Confusing? You bet!
I thought I had finally lost my marbles. I mean- having the flu can cause you to see double. I thought I was seeing double. But then I noticed the differences in the books.
The covers…. they were slightly different. Same book only one with the original cover and the other one with an updated image.
Seriously? I had the same book twice on my bookshelf. How in all that´s pink and fluffy was that even possible? I don´t buy double paperbacks. Not even if I love a book as much as I love `Easy`.
Is this what it´s like when you get old? You become so forgetful and buy stuff double? If that´s case then I´ll stop right here and focus on ebooks only.
This has never happened to me before!
Scary is- I have no clue why I have the same book twice. I remember buying the first paperback. But the second copy? When did that happen? WHEN?!
It´s not signed by the author, so I didn´t get it from a book signing event. The only logical explanation I can come up with is that I lend my original copy to a friend and never got it back so I bought another copy. Since I don´t lend books anymore ( I´m a burnt child ) that can´t be the case, either. This leads me to believe that I´ve finally lost it ( and by “it” I mean my wits).
Who know´s what´ll happen next. All I know is that I´m not prepared for more surprises like this.