How I Fell into an ARC hole (and am still trying to get out)

Hello everyone! I’ve been wanting to talk about my unfortunate ARC pile for quite some time now and well, I finally got the courage to do so today, because I’m a mess but I accept it and embrace it and am trying to do better, so let’s talk about this, and maybe writing it all down will make me feel better? Probably not.


I didn’t know a thing about ARCs for almost a whole year after I started blogging and once I thought I had built my platform enough and was ready to venture into requesting them, I realised that the regional rights made it much harder for an international reader to acquire them.

Honestly, I didn’t care much. I got a few read nows from Netgalley, and read and reviewed them. This continued for about 5 months in which I read maybe 8 books? Not bad at all, I must say. I’d also always get my ratio upto 100% and be proud of myself, and I wish I could go back to those days.

The problem began when I started getting accepted for the ARCs I requested, and suddenly had an influx of them coming in when I didn’t even remember requesting them. The thing was, I had been rejected for so many ARCs at that point that I’d request anything that piqued my interest by even a little bit and had so many ARCs I was just slightly interested in collected and I hadn’t prepared for that scenario.

I didn’t know how to keep up since even though I was just requesting the books I was very interested in, I had about 10 books waiting to be read and reviewed. Then, came the real problem which was life events interfering with my reading and I reviewing. I had college applications and exams and basically a lot going on, so I took a blog hiatus, and barely read anything for pretty much 5 months. I had 12 ARCs on my Netgalley shelf at that point, and most of them still continue to be there.

When I came back, it was the beginning of a pandemic and I was a little overwhelmed and wanted shiny new books (you all understand that, right?) and I did get some! So, I continued reading and reviewing books, but chose to do so with newer ones in favour of neglecting the old ones.

Sure enough, I still wasn’t getting accepted for many ARCs but my blog had about 700 followers at this point and they were growing well and I started emailing publishers for my most anticipated titles and signed up for blog tours and basically, my ARC count continued soaring and even as I continue to read and review as many of them as possible, it just seems a little never-ending.


So, I guess it’s time to expose myself by telling you all the number of books I have on my Netgalley and Edelweiss shelves. The people over at Bookish Collision server had heard much about my arc struggles, especially Soph, Sam and Lori, but I don’t think I’ve ever actually said a number so, here we go…

I have 22 books on my Netgalley shelf and another 8 on my Edelweiss account.

That’s 30 books and it probably isn’t bad for a lot of people, but taking my normal reading speed of 6 books per month, it’ll take me a little less half a year to get through them all, that is if I don’t request any more books and read these diligently. So, I have to say it isn’t a very good statistic to be looking at.

However, I do have to say I’ve been pretty good with ARCs for a while now and have read 4 of these and am almost done with another 2, all of which are yet to be reviewed so I’ll be down to 23 by the end of the week hopefully, and that’ll be an easier number to tackle.

It doesn’t sound much better, I know and I should could actually list out all the books I have on here for accountability purposes but I think I’ve exposed myself enough for today and I’m working on it!


I want to say I’ll go on an ARC requesting ban but the truth is, I’ve tried it and it hasn’t really worked so what I will try to do now is stop reading anything that is not an ARC until I have less than 10 ARCs total left to be read and reviewed. This is also probably not going to be true, but hey, I am trying, okay?

All I can say is I had very bad self-control but I will try not to request any ARCs that aren’t through blog tours because then I have a date by which I must read and review them and that is the best motivator I could possibly get! I hate to disappoint people, and that includes those who are hosting the tour so unless I really don’t have the time to read for some reason, I will always read and review books for blog tours on time.

Honestly, I don’t know what I’m doing but if you all have any tips, please give them to me! Now I’m off to write those ARC reviews and make myself feel a bit better.

So that’s my disastrous journey with ARCs. How has your journey been? Are you good at keeping up with them or do you keep moving on and find it harder to go back to earlier ones like me? Tell me in the comments below!

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38 thoughts on “How I Fell into an ARC hole (and am still trying to get out)

  1. I was in a similar smaller hole pre pandemic, but with everything going on I’ve found it tougher to read ebooks. So instead my physical TBR of impulse/comfort purchases has soared 😅 It’s tough.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh hell. That is indeed a lot. But how do you keep getting approved, ’cause your feedback ratio must have dropped right? And good luck!! It is indeed very difficult to acquire arcs as an international reader. ☹️ We only get the e-copies. ☹️🥺 But still i guess, I get to read them. And I am grateful for that.😅💟

    Liked by 1 person

    1. AH it hasn’t because I’ve reviewed 60 out 80 ARCs so it’s above 70% and that’s usually an okay ratio for approval? Ah yes, I so get that! I don’t mind e-copies tho since they’re easier to transport and read anywhere which is much needed for me. Thanks for stopping by!


  3. Omg I’m also guilty of just getting a bunch of books for review over at Netgalley and right now I have a stack to read. I currently stopped requesting, and I’ve been on the mission to finally read all the backlog titles I have. Another tip I can give is to give yourself a goal. Like, I tend to try to finish 3 ARCs before requesting 1 brand new one often works for me.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This is sooo relatable!! I am drowning in ARCS and gifted copies and I’m a very slow reader so I’m only reading those when so many other books interest me! The dilemma!!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Before I signed up for Netgalley, I asked for advice from other bookish friends. Their main tip: keep your ARC requesting to a manageable amount before it overwhelms you. I’ll share this post with them in the hopes that they comment a helpful reply!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I was good about getting through my ARCs….and then I requested some and magically got approved for all of them so now I have 10 I need to get through. Luckily only one is from last year so my backlist isn’t as big. But considering that I’ve been doing most of my reading through audiobooks recently, the 10 ebooks are gonna be a challenge, especially because my last semester of university before my dissertation starts next week 😂

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  7. Ahhh this is such a relatable post!! I get declined for most of the arcs I request 🥲 so luckily I didn’t suddenly have a bunch of arcs to review like what happened to you. But I still have quite a few to get to and I’ve been trying to not request any more otherwise it’s just going to become more and more overwhelming 😅
    I wish you the best of luck for tackling your arcs!!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I am trying to build my own little niche before starting to request ARCs, but also I am delaying it because I already have a 200+ books TBR and god knows what’ll happen if I ever get approved for ARCs. I hope you’ll figure out a way though!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I’ve gone through a couple similar situations though I didn’t dive into NetGalley until maybe a couple years ago, which is a few years into my blog; but I definitely went a little crazy. I try not to log in anymore unless there’s a book that I really want to try and get. I think have maybe 7-8 books I still need to read and review?
    Good luck and happy reading!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I feel you on not thinking you’ll be approved and then being flooded with approvals. I’ve managed to keep my ratio at or just above 80% for the last two years… which is the only reason I’m not totally screwed right now, but tbh I have 20-something on my shelf so am I better off? lol

    Liked by 1 person

  11. i’ve only ever read two arcs before and they were all part of blog tours, but i can definitely understand how daunting it can be to have a deadline and expectations and having to deliver a review on time. on the other hand, i can also see how that would be a motivator for you to prioritize the arcs instead of other books. i’m wishing you all the luck on tackling this tbr, jayati!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Oh, my arc pile is… way more 😂
    Mini-reviews are my solution to an arc pile. If I dnf some arcs, I’ll put those into a dnf mini-review. I have 2 arcs by the same author (both standalones) so I’ll put those 2 into a mini-review – just basically mini-reviews are everything when I have a bunch of arcs 😂 I can get like 3 or 4 done in one review.
    Good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I have 3 NetGalley books from way back in 2015 or so, when I was young and naïve. One is a thriller romance (and I don’t do thrillers), one is the second book in a series (and I haven’t read the first one), and one is just something I’m not that interested in. The rest of my books are all 2021 releases, so at least there’s that. I’m hoping to keep up with all the books I’ve recently requested, but I guess only time will tell!

    I keep wanted to read at least one of those 3 backlist books, even if I’m no longer interested per se, but I need the motivation. So if you’d want to do a weird sorta buddy read thing where we each pick an ARC we’ve ignored and motivate one another to read it, I’d be up for that!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. WOW that’s pretty great tho, especially compared to me since no, I didn’t stop requesting books even after writing this post.

      Hope you can keep up with the 2021 releases!

      And yess! Let’s do that – it’ll be the weirdest thing ever and I am here for it! Let me know when you want to!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I mean, I have 7 books that are 2021 releases, 2 of which are overdue for reviews, but I still think I’m doing pretty well. Honestly, sometimes it’s a blessing when I get rejected because I’d easily get overwhelmed otherwise! Thank you!

        Also, do you have Instagram? If you do, DM me @paperprocrastinators and we can figure out the details of this weird sorta buddy read! I’m excited!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Ohh yeah that’s great! And I mean 7 isn’t bad at all especially when you compare to me having more than 20 books, a lot of them overdue 😅

        And yess I feel and when I get rejected but it’s also good!

        Yes! I’ll just do that!

        Liked by 1 person

  14. I also fell into this arc hole. I am doing my best! I have a lot more and it does get overwhelming but I’m basically only reading arcs at this point and I have stopped requesting for books that release before September so I can have time to catch up!

    Liked by 1 person

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