Let’s talk… ARCs

While I am not talking about baseballs (can you tell I’m excited it’s back?), I am talking about Advanced Reading Copies. If you haven’t figured out, I love to read, and it makes reading a little more special to be chosen to read an ARC. I have read “advanced copies” many times before through subscription boxes, but I have only been chosen to read one once. Here’s that story:

I have only been asked to read an ARC once, and it was subsequently the most exciting and nerve racking experience I have had with books. While I love to read, I am incredibly critical about the book you put in front of me (surprised?). The last thing I wanted to do was get sent a book, absolutely hate it, and lie to all the people who saw my review on Goodreads. There was a power to reading an ARC that my anxious little self couldn’t begin to process.

Thankfully, I loved the book. It was by an author I had read before and enjoyed, and while it was not what I had initially expected, I wasn’t absolutely devastated. But I felt the ending was super rushed and the whole story fell a little flat to me because of it.

When you get chosen to do an ARC, you are expected to give your honest review. But nobody would want my honest review of anything. So I simply said, this book is great, but the last 30-40 pages felt rushed, but I love this author. I hoped that by glossing over my critique that I might encourage the publisher to say “hey, this gal is swell, let’s have her read more.” FYI, I never got to read more. But this inherent fear that if I hide my true thoughts, then I might succeed in life is an issue, and I recognize that.

By starting this blog, I promise that I will be completely honest, even if it puts me or an opportunity I have received in a bad light. And to any publishers out there, hi, let me read your books!

If you have any thoughts or ideas, feel free to leave them in the comments. And as always, if you have any questions and would like to talk to me personally, e-mail me at elizabethslick@elizabethsbookstore.blog. I’ll see you all at the next book!

Let’s Talk… How I Read It

If you looked through my reviews, one of the first things I list is how I read it. To me, how I read the book says a lot about not only my interest level in the book, but also the amount of time I invested into a book. So here is the list of ways I read, and if there is another way you encourage, I am open ears in the comments.

Audiobooks

In August of 2018, I finally took the plunge and downloaded Audible. What I love about it is that when I am driving, it helps keep my mind off the road rage and in a book. I also love listening to a book while I work, which I think is purely because I work in a secluded corner doing very repetitive, mindless work. (Side note: I always was the kid that did better working while I was distracted. I always had the TV on or headphones in my ears while I worked, and even into college I did better when I had something I was listening to. For whatever reason, that sentiment has carried over into adulthood.) A lot of the time, if I have an audiobook, I will also have an ebook or a print book along with it. Audiobooks take so incredibly long compared to reading something in print, so if I start listening to something that truly piques my interest, then I will also read it in print to speed the process along. From my experience, audiobooks are much more expensive than the other two options. HOWEVER, using an Audible subscription plan, I pay about $11 per credit instead of the $20+ of an audiobook. I also try to conserve credits as much as I can, so if a book I want is on sale at any point, I try to snatch it up for a price less than $10. They also offer a romance package that gives you access to any book within that package for a monthly fee. Overall, I love using audiobooks, and you will often see them in my reviews, but for someone without the same freedoms in their everyday life, I don’t recommend it.

Ebooks

I am specifically going to talk about Kindle books because that is the service I use. Kindle books are convenient because you can have an entire library at your fingertips. Essentially, if I was at the doctor’s office and they took forever (which they always do), I could pull out my phone and read a book. Also, using Kindle and Audible, the two work together to update where you are in the book, even if you switch back and forth. Kindle also gives you the option to organize your books into collections, so those of you who need that OCD, you’re welcome. Kindle is often the least expensive option and also the most immediate. When trying to think of why I don’t use Kindle as much as print, the only honest answer is that I am a snob. I desperately want to feel a book in my hand, turn the page physically, and feel the incredible satisfaction of snapping a book shut when I finish. For those of you that want the best option, I begrudgingly have to say this is it.

Print

The final option and the most organic option. This is the one you see on bookshelves as far as the eyes can see. Whether it be paperback or hardcover, print books means that I physically hold a book in my hand while I read. I absolutely love this option, but it comes with a price. While I absolutely love holding a book, it is becoming obsolete, and for good reason. As we become more environmentally and globally conscious, ebook libraries seem like a better option than their physical counterparts. In some ways, print books can be more economically favorable in my position, but I have quickly begun to choose audiobooks over print books (oh the shame).

When it comes down to it, pick your poison. At the end of the day, all that matters is that you are reading! If you have any thoughts, feel free to leave any comments in the comment section. Also as always, if you have any questions you want to ask to me personally, feel free to contact me at elizabethslick@elizabethsbookstore.blog. Until the next book guys! See you soon!

Let’s talk…. Subscription boxes

In May of 2018, I went on a huge shopping spree. I signed up for way too many subscription boxes so that I could get books delivered to my front door once a month. Here is what I have learned:

Bookish Box

$18-$40/month

I was subscribed to this box for a brief time while I was in college. While it was fun, it just produced a lot of clutter. I re-signed up in May and felt the same lackluster feeling. For people interested in knickknacks, this is a great box, but for those who are interested in something meaningful, this probably isn’t the best box. By the way, I have a ton of enamel pins if anyone wants any. This box offers both adult and young adult options, as well as many different t-shirt sizes.

Uppercase box

$35/month

I absolutely enjoyed this box when I first started getting it. One of the biggest draws, for me, was the interactive experience. Every month, they send you a book, along with other bookish items, and a bookmark that lists 5 pages and the codes for that page. Then, you go on their website, look up that code, and hear something from the author, take part in discussion questions, or hear from other reviewers. Over time, the books have gotten farther away from the type of books that I enjoy, so while this experience is no longer for me, I am sure that someone else will absolutely love it. The only option in this box is young adult.

Bookcase Club

$100/ year

I am sure they have plenty of other options for what pricing you would like to do, but for less than $10/ month, I felt like I couldn’t do much better. Each month, you get sent 2 books. My biggest issue with this box is that, while the option is young adult, it almost felt like the book choices were either way outside of my literary preferences (when did I become such a snob?) or were extremely juvenile in content. Again I say, this box would be great for somebody, that somebody just isn’t me. They have plenty of children options and young adult options.

Once Upon a Book Club

$35/month

Okay, that title is really cute, right? Not just me? Anyway, this has become one of my favorite parts of the month. You get sent a box (which looks like a book, I mean come on people) filled with gifts and a book. It is your job to show the self restraint to read the book, and once you reach a certain page, you can open the gifts. It is so much fun when you read that the protagonist gets a locket, then open the locket yourself. While I absolutely love this box, it does produce clutter. They offer young adult and adult options, as well as specialty boxes.

Book of the Month

$15/month

Okay, I use this service rather religiously. That $15 a month is for the credit of 1 book. While that’s great, you can add up to 2 other books to your box for only $10 each. So ya girl gets 3 of that month’s books for a grand total of $35. And while some people may think that is ridiculous, it has quickly become a point of pride. If I were to buy the books on amazon, I easily would have paid double, especially because they are pre-orders. The way it works, every month their readers chose 5 books that will come out that month. They then offer you to choose any of those 5 books. In some ways, this is a limiting factor, but they often find books that could work for anybody. You also always have the opportunity to skip. Being the person I am, I have put myself on a mission to read all the books that have been offered in the time I have been signed up to the service. You also can choose to add-on any of the books they still have available from previous boxes if you don’t like the options they posted for that month. I literally see no reason why someone hasn’t signed up for this service.

If you have ever used one of these services or just have an opinion of your own about these or another one I should try out, let me know in the comments section. As always, if you have any questions or concerns, e-mail me at elizabethslick@elizabethsbookstore.blog and I will happily chat with you! Thanks guys and I will see at the next book!