Needed: More Bookshelves. Stat!

I now know how I’m going to die: someday I’ll be buried under a flood of books. It’ll be so deep that I won’t be able to dig my way out, and I’ll suffocate under there. Unless one of the cats bestirs herself long enough to dig me out, but I wouldn’t put money on that. At most she’d probably dig out my foot and declare it to be breakfast time.

It’s my own fault, really. Sometimes the more review books I have to read, the more energized I get with respect to reading. I got a media mailing from one of the publishers I regularly receive review copies from recently and they had an unusual number of titles that interested me. I put together a list of all the ones I’d be happy to review and emailed it to them, asking them to send me whichever of those titles they’d like reviewed; it always seemed kind of rude to me to just say, “gimme these,” so I like to make it clear that whatever they feel like sending out of the ones I’m interested in is fine by me. I think, from the reply, that they might be sending me all of them. This will be a lot of fun reading!

Then I found some more publishers over the last week whose books I’m curious to check out (mostly from some of the book review blogs I’ve been listing over on the reviews blog), and I went ahead and sent off a few emails and faxes. At least one company is sending four books (I had originally requested two), and as I’ve learned from other companies, often the ones that like to get faxes instead of emails don’t let you know whether they’re sending you books or not—you just suddenly get a package someday. So I have hopes for those. Then there’s another company I often get books from—several times a year they send out a form with their upcoming books, you check off the ones you’re interested in, and every now and then one or more of them shows up. So I never really know when I’m going to get a book. I adore getting books, so it’s a bit like mini year-round birthdays.

I’ve been lucky to develop relationships with some very good publishers. How do I define good? As a reviewer, to me that means that the publisher appreciates a decent and fair review whether it’s a glowing review or not. A good publicist knows that even an ambivalent—or negative—review can generate sales if the reviewer provides enough information and explains their impressions and biases well enough. A good publicist also keeps track of reviewers’ areas of interest and contacts the ones they’d like reviews from when books come out. Many of the bigger publishers of course don’t have the resources to do the latter for all of the books they put out, so with them you’re generally on your own to keep track of what they’re coming out with and request it. I have to say that so far two of my favorite publishers to work with in this regard have been Alpha Books and 10 Speed Press. Neither one has ever given me grief of any kind when I’ve given a book less-than-perfect scores.

The only problem, of course, is that I have far more books than bookcases to hold them. I should find out whether our local library takes donations of lightly-used books.

Now if only I could find a furniture company that needs reviews of bookcases…


Books are a girl’s best friend

Posted in Writing
6 comments on “Needed: More Bookshelves. Stat!
  1. SciFiChick says:

    I know what you mean. My piles of books are getting out of hand. And I just bought a new bookshelf that didn’t make the slightest bit of a difference.
    Thankfully, the ones I know I won’t read again can be sold off to HalfPrice Bookstore.. Unless it’s an ARC. Then I’ll just keep it or pass it along to a friend.
    And “mini year-round birthdays”.. that’s a perfect way to describe it! I get a bit giddy every time a package arrives. It doesn’t matter how often.

  2. heather says:

    Yeah, I think we could put up two or three full new bookshelves and it would maybe be enough for the cookbooks. It wouldn’t even touch everything else.

    I tend to feel a bit odd selling off anything that I was given as a review copy, and I know some companies don’t like folks doing that even if it isn’t an ARC, so for those I often pass them along to a friend or family member I think might be interested (unless it’s a cookbook, in which case it stays!). I think there’s a public library near here, so I’ll have to find out if they can take the rest. Of course I hate to give up books that I might someday want to look at, so even then I know I’ll still need more shelves! 😀

    I truly do love getting those packages. It’s way more fun than it has any right to be. 😉

  3. Going through a move right now and packing books is all I have spent my time doing. Moving everything else will be cake compared to all of these damn books.

  4. heather says:

    Oooooh, that sounds familiar. We moved from New Hampshire to Maryland three years ago, and I sold most of my books on Amazon just so I wouldn’t have to lug them all this way. We also took some to the several shelves that served as a free book exchange at the local recycling center, and were treated to a particularly unusual sight on one of our trips: two very redneck/hillbilly-stereotype-looking men in their 40s or 50s happily rummaging through the science fiction novels we’d dropped off. That was pretty cool. 🙂

    Best of luck with your move! I don’t envy you there. Moving is just not fun.

  5. ScottM says:

    Since I moved in with Jennifer, we’ve purchased several bookcases. Two readers moved together, each without the capacity for the books we had, was rough. Fortunately, I’ve become addicted to using the library, so that’s greatly slowed our book acquisition.

    Our library happily takes book donations, though they may not keep them– ours often sells donated books (on say, a quarterly basis). They sell them cheaply, which makes it tempting to reverse all the good I’m doing by not buying books in the first place…

  6. heather says:

    Oh, yeah, that would definitely be rough. It’s certainly… challenging… that both Jeffrey and I are book addicts.

    I certainly don’t mind if the library wants to sell them—money for libraries is good. 🙂 Hopefully I’ll get off my ass and visit the library sometime this week.

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