Monday, April 13, 2009


At the moment I am enjoying the superb Bank Holiday weather here in the West Country. No wonder they call Torbay the English Riviera. These  photographs were taken yesterday on Budleigh Salterton beach.

I now have a large pile of tempting books to read, and am wondering do you make a reading plan or just pick up books at random off  your shelf ?

If you get ARCs do you feel obligated to read these books before the books you have bought yourself, borrowed from the library, or begged from friends? 

Do you feel obligated to finish an ARC more than you would a bought or borrowed book? 


Blogger Dorte H said...

So far, no one has ever asked me to review a book. I have noticed, however, that blogging has made a difference. I think about what my readers might want to hear about, and I plan some of my Bait-in-the-Box reviews very early. It certainly also makes an impression that I have so many English-speaking readers. I try to review some of my Scandinavian books when they come out in English, and I don´t want too many posts per week which are of no interest to English readers.

2:31 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Somehow books I buy are the last to get read. How very strange. I review for a couple of publications, so those have to come first (as there are deadlines) and I try to join into as many 4MA discussions as I can because they're fun. Then work-related books and library books that have due dates all seem to gang up on me too. All that and I have a list of books I want to read that would take several decades...

8:10 PM  
Blogger Philip Amos said...

I usually have about thirty books waiting in my crime fiction pile. Library books have a three-week loan period, renewable thrice, so with those I have to give priority only to those in high demand. And so, unless I have a greatly anticipated new arrival, I simply roll an eyeball over the spines and ponder what befits my mood -- a journey to Oslo or Seville, Ireland in the seventh century or England in the seventeenth, procedural or psychological, the darker side or the lighter, a tried-and-true or new and possibly abortive, and so on. In short, it's all a matter of where I want to be, in all senses.

1:34 AM  
Blogger Bernadette said...

I definitely feel obliged to read ARC books if I know the publication deadline - I figure the publisher is entitled to that in return for the free book. That's one of the reasons I don't sign up for that many ARC books - I don't want to be tied to someone else's schedule (and it's not like I need more books).

For the rest I'll see what my various online book groups are reading and join if I can and I have 2 face to face book groups that I almost always read a book a month each for. I try not to borrow too many at once from the library - 3 maximum (I feel guilty if I have more than that as there are other readers missing out) and I do try to get through library books as soon as I can. If I'm all clear on those then I read books I've borrowed from friends and after all that I read from my own TBR pile which consists of bought/mooched books.

1:42 AM  
Blogger Uriah Robinson said...

Dorte, I am very surprised that you have not been asked to review books yet. After we have sung your praises at Crime Fest you may get publishers contacting you.
My point was that I don't feel obligated to read and review unsolicited ARCs [even though I got what looks like an interesting non fiction one this morning] but I do if they have come from friends.
It does mean that books I buy [ and I can't stop my addiction] go down the reading priority list and sometimes stay in the TBR pile for months.
I have not been in our library for some time because in contravention of what I assumed were rules against using libraries for political purposes it was taken over by a particular group.
There were a number of posters and petitions that my wife and I found unacceptable, and we did not feel comfortable going there again.

2:45 AM  
Blogger Uriah Robinson said...

Barbara, there is so much going on on Friend Feed now, that I just lurk on the 4MA group. Perhaps I should look at what is being discussed more closely. I certainly admire your ability to read and review to a deadline for publications.

I think because my professional life was so strictly structured and I was always working against the clock now that I am retired I can't deal with rules and deadlines.

2:58 AM  
Blogger Uriah Robinson said...

Philip I am classifying you as a random traveller, a free spirit. I have not added up the books in my TBR pile it would be too frightening.

3:01 AM  
Blogger Uriah Robinson said...

Bernadette, Karen at Euro Crime has a system where we can choose which books we want as ARCs. But then of course the publisher has our details and sometimes decides to send unsolicited books direct.
In those circumstances if I haven't asked for the book I don't feel obligated to review it. The book I got this morning actually looks a worth while read, The Crime writer's Guide to Police Practice and Procedure by Michael O'Byrne who ended his career as chief constable in Bedfordshire.

3:15 AM  
Blogger Dorte H said...

Norman, so far I have bragged about being a free spirit because I only review books of my own choice and do it my way, but if anyone should tempt me with a free crime novel ...???
All I can say is that I am not very good at resiting criminal temptations.

3:40 AM  
Blogger Bernadette said...

Norman I definitely wouldn't feel obliged to read unsolicited ARCs either. Fortunately I've only had one (and it was truly awful - I didn't finish it nor review it).

How terrible about your local library though. Our libraries are all funded by local government and they have very very strict rules about the types of information that can be displayed - nothing even remotely political or controversial. Last year a community group I'm involved with wanted to put up a poser about our climate change event we were hosting but that was deemed too political.

3:41 PM  
Blogger Uriah Robinson said...

Bernadette if climate change was deemed too political
then I don't think we were overreacting when we saw the range of posters and the petition in our library. They were very politically controversial and I have a feeling that the library staff might have been worried about refusing to display this material.

12:44 AM  

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