We all know what it is.
And I’m pretty sure we all have had it at some point.
What is ARC envy? For those of you who don’t know, ARCs are Advanced Reader Copies that publishers give out to reviewers to spread the word about a book, months before its release. It’s like getting to see a highly anticipated movie before the release date!
I mean, I like to say I’m perfect (joking, joking), but in all honesty I’m human. I have faults, and being envious of another person because they have a book and I don’t is one of them. And I have to admit, I have succumbed to ARC envy several times throughout my blogging career.
You see someone post on Twitter an ARC they got. You’ve heard all about the ARC on Goodreads, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and maybe even Myspace. The person’s super happy with the ARC but then you think- “Why not me?” Those thoughts spiral into more and more dark directions until you’re left with a void of envy.
“Why not me? I have enough time to review books, and their pile must be super long! They haven’t even read the first book in the series, while I’m a fan- isn’t it obvious on who should get the ARC?! And look at their reviews, they’re not even that informational! This is ridiculous. My life is ridiculous.”
I’m not proud to say it, but those thoughts were similar to what I thought when I succumbed to ARC envy. But looking back at those silly, petty thoughts and comparing them to my (a little bit) more mature self today, I’ve realized that I’ve grown as a blogger and person. Thus, I want to share some things you should think about when you think you’re spiraling down a sharp path of ARC envy:
- BE HAPPY FOR THE PERSON WHO HAS THE ARC.
This is probably one of the most important things. How would you feel if you had the ARC? You’d be happy, right? You’d want other people to share the joy too. And you probably wouldn’t want someone fuming over why you got the ARC but they didn’t. So don’t be a hypocrite and let’s revel in other people’s happiness! You’ll find that you’ll end up being happier too.
- Take a look at your TBR shelf. That’s right, allllll those books you have to read, or were planning to, or told someone you’d read.
Are you looking at that shelf? Are you intimidated by the number of books on it, that at one point or another you were planning to read?
Look at that poor, (maybe) neglected shelf and first try to knock some of those books before reading an ARC. After all, usually ARC’s aren’t OUT yet, so why don’t you go pick up one that is? There are thousands of books being published each year, and that ARC/book will most likely still be there next month/next year/next decade/next century.
- Think about a book you REALLY wanted an ARC of when it wasn’t out yet, and then to the moment when it DID come out.
Quick anecdote on this topic:
Before A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas came out, I was DESPERATE for an ARC. I entered all the giveaways, emailed the publisher, and read a whole bunch of reviews for the book. Every time someone posted a picture of it I would cry inside. That being said, Barnes & Noble shipped the book a couple days before its release (yaaas!) and when I finally got the book, I devoured it in a day. I really enjoyed the book, but I have to confess: every time I look at the hardcover book sitting on my shelf, I get embarrassed at how desperate I was for an ARC.
The kind of embarrassment that leaves you also ashamed in a way.
At this point, I’ve only read the book twice and have no plans on doing so again anytime soon. So I ask myself, “Aila, is it really necessary to behave so shamefully for a book you’ll get but most likely will not read that many times again?”
- Go to your local bookstore or library!
When I’m in the mood for a book or ARC I don’t have (or just not reading anything on my shelf in general), I usually stop by the Barnes & Noble right next to my house or the public library not far off. Chances are if it’s a book, it’ll be there and if I have time I can stick around to read or check it out. If it’s an ARC though, we have a problem since it’s not published yet.
But go there and look at the NUMEROUS amount of books there. I don’t believe you’ve read all the books there. Stroll around a little and- who knows? You might find something you really like! Either way, it’s a much better way to pass the time rather than patrol the web for something you don’t have.
- Do something to occupy your time.
Like stated above, there are so many things you can do rather than fume for an ARC. Take a jog! If that doesn’t work for you, take a walk! If that doesn’t work for you, watch some TV shows! If that doesn’t work… Well, chances are, it will. I’m always open to giving recommendations so hit me up if you’re thinking about it.
It’s really, really not the be-all-end-all, and you have to realize that an ARC in the grand scheme of life is pretty miniscule. Unless you’re the author of the ARC. Then- that’s pretty big.
In the end, most people who have ARCs worked hard to attain them, or they’re extremely lucky in giveaways. Like I said in the beginning, I’m human, and I’m pretty sure you are too. It’s not uncommon to be desperately wanting something to the point of petty thoughts, so don’t hold it against yourself. At the same time, you should know what it is and that it’s a waste of time, so why waste your time with it? After all, I can guarantee there’s books out there that you would really enjoy if you weren’t so fixated on ARCs.
If you think there isn’t, I can fix that.
So I want to hear your thoughts! Have you had a bad experience with ARC envy? If so, what have you done to get rid of it?