Lola’s Ramblings is a feature on my blog Lola’s Reviews where I ramble on about a book related or a non-book related topic. These are discussion type of posts where I talk about a topic and readers can weigh in on the topic in the comments. Usually these posts are everything that doesn’t fall under any standard header, like tours, cover reveals, memes, challenges, recaps or reviews. Lola’s Ramblings posts are discussions of a certain topic and my point of view on them. The banner for this feature is designed by Michelle from Limabean Designs.
I recently took some time to go through my list of review copies and clean out the list a little bit and it made me curious how others handled this, so a topic for a discussion post was born. With cleaning out in this case I am talking about removing books from your list or books to read or review copy list or even actually removing them from your e-reader or giving away the actual book. And with review books I mean all those books you received for review, request copies etc, with the exception of unsolicited review copies as I figure that is a whole other topic and I don’t actually get any of those, so I can’t say much about it.
Why would you clean out your pile of review books
My main reason for why I want to clean out my review pile is the review pressure. I love reviewing books, but at the same time it can be really daunting to see how many unread review books I still have. So if I can knock a few books of that list sometimes that I don’t plan on reading anyway it’s nice. And else it feels like those books I don’t plan to read still count against me somehow, like with your netgalley percentage, you can’t get it higher unless you review those books. Another reason is that I like to clean out my goodreads for review shelf now and then so I can keep a better overview of which books I still have to read and not have to wade through books I don’t plan to read anyway. I also clean out my other Goodreads shelves now and then although not nearly as often as I probably should. And for netgalley books, there’s the added reason that submitting feedback for a book I don’t plan to read anymore also ups my percentage a bit, which is nice.
How do I keep track of my review books
I made a shelf on Goodreads on which I list all the books I got for review, so I can easily keep track of it, but at the same time seeing the number of review books I still have to read and review can be a bit intimidating as well. I also have a shelf for books that I got for review and already have reviewed to keep the overview. Also in case you were curious my review shelf counts 98 books and my got a review copy and reviewed shelf counts 390 books. That means I reviewed about 80% of the books I got for review, which is better than my netgalley percentage.
How I clean out my pile of review books
Once in a while, maybe a few times a year or so, I take the effort to go through my pile of review books. When I want to clean out my review pile a bit, what I usually do is go to my review shelf on Goodreads and scroll through the books, if I encounter a book I am pretty sure I won’t be reading anytime soon if ever I simply remove it from the shelf. I don’t go as far as to actually remove it from my pc or e-reading device as I figure if it ever catches my attention I can always read and review it, but I want that pressure off and thus remove it from my review shelf on Goodreads. If I ever change my mind about a book I can always still read it and add it back to the list, but in many cases I don’t think I will. If it’s a netgalley book I go ahead and submit feedback through their site, explaining that I lost interest for the book and don’t think I’ll be reading it. If I got the book directly form the author I usually do no such a thing as somehow it feels a bit awkward and rude to directly e-mail the author to let them know I won’t be reviewing their book anymore. I would like to know how you handle this? Do you e-mail the author or not? And if you do what do you say? I also figure most authors that sent me a review copy long ago probably don’t really expect me to review anymore. If I do it’s a peasant surprise for them and if I don’t then they probably aren’t surprised either.
Sometimes I find a book on my review pile that I am not sure about if I will read it. I also know that my current reading mood can influence what I think I’ll still read and what not, so usually if I doubt I leave the book on the pile. If the next time I go through that shelf I still feel like I won’t read it, I can always remove it then. Usually when I do a clean out I only remove between 1-5 books at most, but it still makes me feel better. Often the books I remove are older review books that have been on my list for a while, but I also have some older review copies I am still committed to reading eventually. I do still feel bad whenever I remove a book from my review pile as I was interested at reading it at some point and wish I had read it back then and I do feel bad for letting the author down and not reviewing it.
Reasons why I remove a book from my review pile
Usually when I remove a book from my review pile it’s for one of the following reasons:
- Lost interest in the book. This is probably the main reason for why I remove a book from my review pile, I simply lost interest in the book and don’t feel excited or curious about the book anymore. At this point I find it hard to fantom why I would ever read said book or imagine a mood in which I would read the book and thus I decide to remove it.
- Don’t think I would enjoy the book anymore. My reading tastes change and sometimes when I look back at a book later I just don’t think I will enjoy that book anymore. I also have this with some books I bought. Often these are books I bought or got many years ago and my tastes changed enough that I don’t think that’s a book for me anymore. In which case I remove it from the pile.
- Accidentally requested a book out of order. I prefer to read a series in order and if I got a review copy for a later book I usually make sure I already have read the previous book/ own the previous books or plan to read those as well. But I made a few mistakes when I was new to netgalley and even later a few times, where I didn’t double check things as well as I would have or figured I would just buy the previous books and so I ended up with some later books in a series. And now I don’t feel like reading them anymore or buying the other books so I can read the series in order. Often this is combined with the two previous points.
- Because I accepted/ requested too many books when I just started blogging. Yes I am totally guilty of doing this when I just started blogging. When I just became a blogger all these free books seemed totally awesome and I accepted more review request than I probably should have. I wasn’t as picky yet and didn’t realize too many review books could feel like a burden at times and just felt honored an author wanted me to read their books, I also felt a bit bad about saying no and thus I ended up with a bunch of books I accepted and now don’t really care about anymore. I also requested a bit too many books on netgalley, but luckily it’s not as bad as it could have and many of the older books on there are still books I think I will read at some point.
- Didn’t enjoy previous books in series. A few times this happened where I requested multiple books in a series and didn’t enjoy the previous ones and thus remove the future ones from my review pile. This happens very rarely as nowadays I do my best to only accept one book in a series and not request later books until I know I enjoy the series.