A ramble about space, money, and eARCs

Alright, I have no idea where this post is going to go. I’m having some feels and thoughts and I just want to get them all out so they stop flying around in my head.

Firstly, I was reminded today by Destiny and Rhiannon that spending money is sometimes a symptom of mental illness and folks shouldn’t be shamed for it.

I want to talk about that a little more. This is very very true, but it goes further. I don’t think how a person spends their money is anyone else’s business (like, maybe their partners’, but you get the idea). I get that some people don’t have the money to spend on books (hi, that’s me too) and a lot of people think capitalism is garbage (also me). However, we shouldn’t shame people for spending the money they do have on something that makes them happy. The $50 someone used to buy books isn’t going to even make a dent in the world’s problems, but it will make that person really happy in a moment when they really need it. That’s not how you would spend your money? Cool. I’m not saying you should. I’m saying please don’t make people feel ashamed for buying things that make them happy.

And now to make things more personal. I warned you this would be a ramble, right? I’ve been on a book buying ban that I’ve been failing at lately but that I need to crack down on. Part of this is money; we aren’t in the best financial place right now and we’re trying to save up for when things get a little worse this winter. It’ll be okay, we’re going to make it through, but every little bit is going to help. The bigger problem, though, is space. We have one full bookshelf and two half bookshelves and they are all completely full. We live in a tiny house and all the wall space is taken up; we have no room for more shelves. We’re also planning on moving several states away in the next year or so, and by adding physical things to our lives I risk having to leave them behind when we move. I caved and bought Strange Grace by Tessa Gratton (it is beautiful inside and out) as well as a few books for the Queer in Space readathon. In holding with my deal with myself, that meant I got rid of 5 books to make room for the 5 books I’m bringing in.

So that was just a long explanation of my book buying ban. How do ARCs fit into this? I’m so glad you asked! For folks who don’t know, I’m a librarian. One of the perks with this job is that I have access to LOTS of eARCs from Netgalley and Edelweiss. My brain tries to tell me that this solves all of my problems. They’re free, so money’s not an issue. They’re digital, so space isn’t an issue. What is the issue? Writing reviews. My brain is also terrified of failing to review something I’ve received as an eARC, of having my Netgalley percentage be anything less than 100%. Also, I’ve discovered I sort of hate writing reviews. I don’t understand why because I love talking about books, but I think because I’ve only been reviewing eARCs it’s taken on the feel of required reading responses, which is pretty much “do it at the last possible second just to get it done.” This means that my brain is in warring factions of “request all the eARCs so you can have/read all the books!” and “good god, don’t request any more eARCs, you’ll have to review them.” Right now the latter is winning.

This reminds me of something else I really want to discuss (accessibility via audiobooks), but it’s going to be a post all it’s own. If you liked this, look forward to that going up soon.

What was the point of all this? I’m not completely sure. To justify when I do buy books? To justify my book buying ban? To justify wanting eARCs but not requesting them? Who knows. Now you know a little bit more about how my brain works, I guess. If you’ve made it this far, all the kudos. If you take one thing from this post, please consider how your words might make other people feel shame for the way they live.

All the love,

Owl

Author: SeeOwlRead

They/She. I’m a queer reviewer and librarian.

3 thoughts on “A ramble about space, money, and eARCs”

  1. I swore I had replied to this forever ago, but then I was clearing out my email inbox a few minutes ago and found the email notif I got for when you posted it, and realized I never did! But thank you for this. ❤ Your experience is so valid and relatable and I loved reading it.

    Liked by 1 person

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