Hi everyone! Today I want to talk to you guys about something that can be sensitive topic for some people.
Some time ago, when I was browsing youtube, I saw a booktuber showing their yallwest haul. They got around 70ish ARCs, in which they keep around 40 of those books. They also admitted about not knowing what some of the ARCs are about. Recently, there was this whole uproar on twitter about ARCs being sold on E-bay. This got me thinking about few things in our book community.
The first one is how we treat ARCs. I get it, getting ARC is exciting, a priviledge, and it makes you feel like you’re officially part of the bookish community. But most of us tend to forget that the publishers spend money to print and give them to us, sometimes by giving them away on events or mail them personally to you. They spend money in hope that we will read the books and help promote them. If we openly say we “don’t know what some of these books are about” or saying “I grab X number of books and I’ll keep Y number of books”, we literally saying “oh we only grab these because these were ARCs, not because we actually excited for it”. Also, some ARCs have “not for sale” stickers/logo on the cover, and I bet anyone who can read knows that it literally means DO NOT SELL THE ARCS. I mean, if that’s how we are treating ARCs, no wonder some people actually look down on us reviewers and bloggers and our community looks bad with the publishers.
Another thing that I want to talk about is about materialism in the bookish community. We grabbed for so many ARCs and even sell them. But what I’m talking about aren’t limited to ARCs only. We’ve seen a lot of people within the community having multiple editions of their favorite books; some people even have multiple copies of the exact same edition, with same cover and page count and everything, of the same books.
And yes, before you guys scream “IT’S MY MONEY I CAN DO WHATEVER I WANT WITH IT” I get it. I truly get it. But what you did reflects on us as one community. Selling ARCs for money? Not cool. Yes, you attend the events using your money, but that doesn’t give you rights to sell other people’s works illegally. And yes, you can use your money to buy multiple editions of the exact same book. You can fill your whole shelf with editions of your favorite books. But the thing is, some people who do this actually have tight financial situation. I mean, reducing multiple books might not give huge financial impact, but money is money and it might help saving them instead of buying books…?
I know some of them might feel like a personal attack or critique, but I did not mean it that way and I’m sorry if you feel that way. So yeah, those are some things that has been in my head recently, let me know down below what you are thinking of about this topic.
17 thoughts on “ARCs and Materialism”
I don’t think that I can tell people not to spend money on multiple editions of books if they have the money to do so. People collect stuff. Maybe some people spend their money on Funkos or different pairs of shoes. I would, of course, hope that these people are in the financial position to do so and that they also spend some of their money on charitable causes. But it’s difficult to know the full lives of people online and difficult to say that it’s okay to buy certain “useless” things but not other things. Why do we buy more clothes than we need or paintings for the walls or things like fidget spinners, if it comes to that? I feel a little uncomfortable saying what it’s acceptable to buy when I buy stuff I don’t need, either.
However, I do think there is a trend towards materialism in blogging that is concerning. I am worried that people might feel pressured into buying books beyond their means because the really popular bloggers are showing off their hundreds of books or buying books in rainbow colors for no other purpose than to photograph them and get more views–not even to read the books in some cases. To compete with these types of bloggers, others might think they need to buy hundreds of books, too. In that case, I would be worried that we’ve gone beyond celebrating the beauty of a well-made book and started competing with each other to see who owns the most.