Friday, February 27, 2015

Reading and book-buying blues


I know most bookworms have a 'tendency' to buy more books than they can read. Going to a bookstore was both joy and suffering.. as my book pile kept growing, stretching far beyond the shelves in my room and the shelves over my bed, and as I could never read books as quickly as I buy them. 

Holding yourself back at a bookstore is HARD. Bookaholics can relate.

Recently, and particularly after I start this reviewing thing, I've developed a bigger problem. I'm offered free books – in exchange for honest reviews – and I cannot say No!

There are three ways to get free books:

1) Some authors offer their books for free on Smashwords and Amazon. Sometimes always and sometimes for a limited time. – I had a problem that I kept downloading free books, within my reading genres and with a fair interest in them, but only because they're free.
2) Book/blog tours: Most if not all of my participations in or contributions to blog tours have been book reviews. I feel that the guest post is just a copy/paste thing and does not include much effort on my part at least. Hence, I've requested more books but this time with deadlines which I've had to keep. (This is going to change slightly in the coming months, especially since there are a lot of interesting posts out there, with writing tips and info about publishing and so on).
The problem with these is that promoters tell you what books are available for review and several of them are brand new, with a pretty cover and a – very – interesting synopsis!
3) The worst kind – for me – is when an author asks if I would review their book. I have a weak spot. When authors ask, and the book is in my reading genres I have massive difficulty in refusing even when I'm overloaded. (Some of these also come after I sign up for a book blitz or cover reveal for a book). Authors are so kind, sweet and nice.
I've already started informing authors that my schedule is booked one or two months from now – or from the date they contact me. If it is acceptable for them that my review comes out in over a month or two, then I have one more book to my to-read list. If not, then tough luck for both of us.

I had planned several reading-related resolutions for 2015. I have not achieved or even started the journey towards achieving most of them.

Reviewing books has brought me closer to many authors worldwide. I feel culturally-connected to the world more.

Although most of the books I review are not available in my home country, Egypt, authors do not complain – and neither do I.

At this year's Cairo book fair, I managed to buy a select few books and to keep my hands away from many. I bought some necessities like George Orwell's 1984 and Harper Lee's To Kill A Mocking Bird, plus a few other bargains I came across and a few Arabic books (for one of my resolutions and for some author support).

March starts on Sunday and I have a TON of books to read for that month, many as part of book/blog tours and others as author requests.

My April to-read list has already full!


Upcoming reviews in March:

·         The Outcast Star by I.M. Tu (my first review of a children's picture book) (3 March)
·         Insanity by Cameron Jace (6-10 March)
·         The Sham by Ellen Allen (I'm 41% done)
·         Family Secrets by Kat Nicols
·         Seasons of Time by Miriam Khan
·         Just Pru (last week of March)

I hope I didn't miss anything!
Busy month ahead. Wish me luck!