Written by Books

Books, Books, Books

Tsundoku Canvas Bags

If you’re a reader of this blog via an RSS reader like Feedly then two things are of note:

  • You are very sensible. RSS readers are still excellent ways to stay on top of numerous websites.
  • You are going to see a deluge of book reviews sometime around about now. Read on to discover why.

The reason for the latter is that I’ve been trying to get myself to read a bit more, and so far this year, I’ve been doing a fairly decent job of it.

Partly that’s a consequence of me actually going to get an eye test towards the latter part of last year, and getting some reading glasses. I really hadn’t clocked how uncomfortable it had become reading. As a result, I wasn’t doing as much as I should.

And partly it’s a consequence of me signing up with Netgalley.

Now to be clear, the last thing on earth I need is more books. I think that if I was bed-bound and had no access to the internet or television, I could happily survive on existing unread books for many months and quite possible a year or two. And that’s based on reading voraciously! But Netgalley is something that I was aware of but hadn’t really followed up on until recently. Essentially it’s a way for publishers to get early feedback on new books and to seed some buzz about new titles in a busy publishing environment.

The deal is that users get free access to new books, assuming the publishers provide it, and in return readers offer unbiased and honest reviews which publishers also ask to be posted in places like Amazon. Netgalley is aimed at reviewers, bloggers, librarians and so on. I’ll let you work out how I fit into the mix.

I will always point out when I’ve been provided with a free copy of a book. If I don’t then you can safely assumed that I bought the title myself. The books you get through Netgalley are invariably digital copies, so I read them on a Kindle. You have to request titles on Netgalley, and publishers make their own decisions about whether or not to offer titles. While I’ve been reasonably successful in being given access to most of the titles I’ve requested, that hasn’t been the case 100% of the time. In any event, I only request access to titles that I’d be likely to read anyway.

The one thing I do try to do, is read the book ahead of the title’s publication date. And that “pressure” has definitely seen me read a lot more as a result. That said, the next book I’ll be reading from Netgalley is actually published today so I might miss my target on at least one title. Often, titles are made available on Netgalley months before their publication. I tend to publish here when I’ve read the book, although my cross-posted reviews on Amazon tend to wait until publication day.

Interestingly, all this reading activity means that I’m reading more than just on my commute. In any event, my commute has me battling between choosing to read or listen to podcasts. So much to do and so little time. I carve out reading time elsewhere.

All titles I read on Netgalley will be reviewed here, and usually on Amazon and Goodreads. Feel free to read or scroll past them as you choose. But rest assured that blog is not becoming a book site. It will as always continue to be somewhere where I write about media, post photos and videos, annotated Radio Times pages and anything else I feel like writing about.

In the recent past, I’ve not been so good about logging everything I’m reading, and I’m trying to do more of this now. So you are likely to see more book reviews appearing. In particular, shortly after I post this, there’s likely to be a fair deluge of reviews of other books I’ve read in the first six weeks or so of this year, beyond those already published. For a variety of reasons they’ve been stacking up in draft form, and I need to get them out there. I’ll let you, dear reader, decide whether that’s a threat or a promise!