Monday, July 27, 2009

Where my last 20 reviewed books came from

Marie of The Boston Bibliophile just posted a follow-up to her Bloggers and Commercialism post where she lists the sources of her last 20 reviewed books. She did this to analyze the possible effect not accepting review copies might have on her blog. I found it very interesting for another reason too - it's what Julia Keller calls the "extra story" (how a book found its way to your hands) in her article in the Chicago Tribune yesterday.

So, to both follow in Marie's "full-disclosure" footsteps and to provide you with some "extra stories", here is how I got the last 20 books I reviewed on Presenting Lenore.

Last Last Chance by Fiona Maazel - Won from LibraryThing's ER program
Ash by Malinda Lo - Provided for free during my Hachette tour
Feathered by Laura Kasischke - Bought after seeing it at a Story Siren giveaway
Life Sentences by Laura Lippman - Requested from Shelf Awareness
Dull Boy by Sarah Cross - Provided by publisher by request (first seen on 2009 Debs blog)
The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson - Bought after seeing reviews on various blogs last year
Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins - Flew all the way to NYC from Germany to attend BEA. Stood in line at 5:30 am to get a ticket to signing. Stood in signing line to get book signed.
The Miles Between by Mary E. Pearson - Provided by publisher by request (first seen in catalog)
The Heights by Brian James - Provided by publisher by request (first seen in catalog)
Eyes Like Stars by Lisa Mantchev - Won in contest sponsored by author
Milestones by Samira Armin Hodges - Provided by publisher after I accepted author query
Nothing But Ghosts by Beth Kephart - Offered by author after I featured it in a WoW post
Fairy Tale by Cyn Balog - Picked up at Frankfurt Book Fair 2008
Stop Me If You've Heard This One Before by David Yoo - Provided by publisher by request (first seen in catalog)
Alive and Well in Prague, New York by Daphne Grab - Won in author sponsored contest
Geektastic by various authors - Picked up at BEA
Prada and Prejudice by Mandy Hubbard - Provided by publisher by request, though author and I e-mailed about title first
The Secret Keeper by Paul Harris - Provided by author as part of a TLC book tour
Darling Jim by Christian Moerk - Won from LibraryThing's ER program
The Night Gardener by George Pelecanos - Borrowed from library for book club

I would say this is a pretty typical breakdown, except that normally I'd have more books offered to me via query than books I requested personally. If I stopped accepting "freebies", I probably wouldn't feel the pressure to read as much as therefore I'd be more likely to post one review per week as opposed to three or four as I do now. The types of books I reviewed wouldn't change, since I only request or accept books I'd actually spend money on or check out from the library.

Where did your last 20 reviewed books come from? Do you buy most of your books? Get them from the library? Or if you review mostly free copies, how would your blog change if you stopped accepting them?


Tasha said...

Most of my books come from my local library. I like to read at a leisurely pace, and I think I would feel overwhelmed if I began receiving books from publishers on a regular basis.

bermudaonion said...

Great post! My books are a mix of wins, purchases and galleys.

Unknown said...

My books tend to be from the library right now. Although I do have some arcs coming for a tour that I am a part of. This was a really fun and helpful post.. thanks!

Steph Su said...

I buy a ton of books that I intend to read eventually. However, lately most of the reviews on my blog have been of books offered for review - those need to go up first! This has made me really behind on posting reviews, as I've been reading almost a book a day all summer: I have about 30 or so non-required reviews that I have yet to post. There are just so many other great things to post about though! But this is such an interesting post. I'm curious how my reviewed books would break down if I analyzed it in this way. :)

Marie Cloutier said...

Great post. Thanks for linking and shouting out. It's very interesting to see the breakdown & how we're getting our hands on all these great books. At the end of the day we're reading and encouraging others to read- an unqualified good.

Lenore Appelhans said...

Charley - Before I starting book blogging, I bought about half of my books and borrowed the other half (from friends and the library). I don't really borrow books anymore, because I know I won't really have time to get to them.

Kathy - Yeah, you are the luckiest contest winner I know! Sometimes I feel like if I win a book, it is a real free book, i.e. it doesn't come with any pressure to review attached.

Kate - I wish I had a better library here.

Steph - Same here. I do buy a ton of books, but they always tend to get pushed back in favor of review books. I need to work on getting more of a balance, because after all, I bought the books for a reason!

Marie - You're welcome. And agreed!

MySharonAnne said...

I seem to remember you getting a very nice spot on that Catching Fire line! ;)

I filled out a list too. Don't worry I gave you credit for the idea. I'm not rude like that! It was actually quite eye opening.

Lenore Appelhans said...

Thank you Sharon for securing a prime spot in the Catching Fire line for me. You ROCK!!!

Kristen M. said...

Six of my last reviews were from the library, eight were provided for review through various programs and publishers and six were ones that I bought. So, twelve of the last twenty were ones that I just went to on my own. I think that's a good balance.

Color Online said...

Most of my books come from my local library, then book trading sites and last a combination of contests, donations and review copies.

There was a time, I had a very good paying job and at the time my discretionary money was pretty good. I spent most of my money on books. Today, I don't have that kind of money but I still find that I spend the most of pocket money on books either to read or give to others.

I'm like Charley, I would feel overwhelmed if I received review copies all the time. Still, I'm glad there are reviewers who are committed to promoting new releases. Books blogs have definitely opened me up to so many books.

pussreboots said...

Of the books I've reviewed this month:
library books: 12
personal collection: 9
received for review: 5
bookcrossing: 1

For a grand total of 27 books.

Corey said...

As I'm just starting out, all of my reviews will be coming from books I've bought or the library. I have a bit of a book-buying obsession, so I tend to buy the book before it hits my local library anyway.

And now that I have a Kindle, I will probably be using eBooks more. I have spent many a night trolling the Kindle store, sending samples to myself at 3pm. ...this cannot end well. haha

Lenore Appelhans said...

Kristen - Very good balance!

CO (Susan?) - I seem to spend all my money on sushi, plane tickets, and books.

PR - If I had a better library, I'm sure my library stat would be higher!

Corey - Also thinking about getting an eReader. We'll see!

the story siren said...

wow, this is so interesting. i'll definitely be doing one of my own posts like this. i never really thought about this connection. thanks for the post!

Nicole (Linus's Blanket) said...

The last 20 books for me would be skewed toward my own purchases. Since I stopped/cut back on review copies I have been hitting the bookstores big time.

Jen said...

I buy books mostly, my friends and I swap books around a fair bit too, to broaden horizons. I love the library too though! And I just got a copy of the fabulous Storm Glass from Maria V Snyder and Bitten!

Alea said...

This is very interesting. I like the idea of the "extra story". That's my reason for doing my This Week In Books posts. Awhile back I decided to go into my Librarything library and write in the comments how I had gotten all of my books and it was sad to see how many didn't have their own story because I just couldn't remember. So that's why I started doing my posts. So I would remember how I got my books (and sometimes for how much hah!). I just like knowing that history :)

Ali said...

OK, what the heck? Bloglines hasn't updated your blog for me since July 13th.

I think I'll do this, too. I'll be interested to see what my stats are. I'm guessing most of mine will be library books, with review copies coming in second, and purchased books a distant last.

Doret said...

Most of my books come from work (bookstore) and library. Though I do get ARC's but I am not heavy on them.

Anonymous said...

I'm with The Story Siren. I'll be doing this one too...what fun!

MarjoleinBookBlog said...

very interesting post!
I mostly buy books. Its very incidental that I get a review copy/arc(I used to get them more but because I live in Europe, publishers hardly send me review copies from the usa, wich is understandable in these economic times)
I sometimes request them, and I am always thrilled when an author sends me his/her book herself so nice! But that doesn't happen a lot.
And I love it when once in a while authors or publishers contact me because they want me to review a book.
Incidentally I win a book, always fun!
But mostly I buy them.

wdebo said...

Oh wow great idea for a post!! My books usually come from wins/recieve/library.

Anonymous said...

I'd say the books I review are a healthy mix of those I've purchased myself and those I've gotten for free from a publisher, author or LibraryThing. As I'm a total bookaholic -- like all of us! -- I could never stop buying books... I just stock-pile them until I've reviewed all those I've been sent specifically for that purpose.

If I stopped receiving free copies of books, I don't think my blog would change dramatically. I would still read books in that genre -- chick lit, contemporary fiction, YA -- and like to buy books myself when I can! Honestly, sometimes I feel a little guilty about getting free books... but that passes when I can relax a little about my book-buying budget, and still spend that money to help support my favorite authors :)

Bonnie said...

Marie's post has generated some great discussion and thought for everyone. It has definitely done so for me! My books are a mix of purchases, swaps, library books, wins and galley/arc's/review copies. I have felt pressure lately to get my review copies read and reviewed so my reviews may be a bit more skewed towards the review copies. I am definitely in the process of changing that and keeping it more balanced as I have 100's of books of my own TBR sitting patiently on my bookshelves. I have been much more selective of the books I accept for review and have been limiting them as I have so many books to read/review.

Carolina Gal's Literary Cafe said...

Thanks for posting this is definately something to think about. Most of my books do come from ARCS and Book Club Girl's book club. I have been lucky lately with that. I have not been lucky with giveaway though. I do go to SAMs and Costco and buy alot of books that way. But the books I choose to review are mainly ARC's. Boy, do I feel the pressure. Mainly because I don't review as much in the the winter because of school. I have more time in the summer. There are at least 10 books that I have to read by the end of August. They are either book clubs,my book choices or ARCs. WOW, I do feel the pressure. Wouldn't it be nice to post a book or two that we want to read for pleasure. Not a new release but something of our own choosing. Why does someone pick up a challenge about this. I started blogging for pleasure. But lately, it does not feel that way. Just something to think about.

Rabid Fox said...

Really interesting to see the books listed like that. The majority of mine come from libraries and used-book stores these days.

Anonymous said...

Looks like over half of the books I read come from the library. Of course, I've got a huge pile sitting at home to read, too.