Netgalley is a beautiful place, but it is also a labyrinth of commitment. I, like so many other reviewers and bloggers, have a tendency to one-click the request button. I love the accessibility of NG. I think it's a great feature and it really helps smaller bloggers (like myself and others) have the opportunity to ask publishers for books without having to go through e-mail. Confession: I still have yet to e-mail a publisher and specifically request a novel. I'm just too...uncertain of that kind of commitment. What if I don't like the book? I always feel guilty when that happens. Other great bloggers like Readers in Wonderland and plenty of other blogs have discussed how to improve NG ratios and other thoughts on ARCs. I love reading those posts, although I sometimes don't read them all fully. Oops.
The Purge: I really thought long and hard about Netgalley and the backlog of ARCs I have. I don't want to admit my ratio (it's far too embarrassing because I'm lazy and busy when it comes to reviewing diligently), but I realized having a low ratio isn't the thing that bothers me. I'm bothered by the amount of books waiting on my shelf or clogging up my Kindle that I have no intention of reading because they are SO FAR away from my usual tastes. I had the tendency to just click away on everything after I got the hang of things on NG and I really regret it.
The Solution: I'm slowly purging my shelves. I mean slowly, but surely and it's a relief. There were so many books that I didn't feel the desire to read anymore. I don't want to feel overwhelmed and discouraged looking at my NG shelves and while I know this process takes time I don't mind spending my time this way.
A Long Way to Go: I have a lot of books to go through. I've been reading reviews for books that I'm not 100% sold on if they have low ratings on GR. I also reread the summary a few times and really ask myself to be truthful. It is helping so much in eliminating clutter.
How I Use NG Now: I love NG and I think it's one of the best sites out there. It's accessible, free, and a great platform for meeting publishers. I only request books that 1) I'm super excited for and know I will read and enjoy (hopefully) 2) books that synopsis really grab my attention and cause me to squeal. Being pickier about what I'm requesting isn't a bad thing. It's okay to not want every single book available. Less is best because that means you won't be overwhelmed by what is waiting to be read.
How many books have I purged? 10 so far, which doesn't seem like a lot, but this is a huge step. Purging isn't easy and I want to take my time. I feel like if I get rid of everything without contemplating my thoughts then I could regret it later.
What are your thoughts on NG purges? Have you participated in them? What do you consider to be too many books on your backlist? Let me know down below in the comments!