Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Reasons I Love Commitment-Free Reading

Top 10 Tuesday new

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, featuring a different top 10 theme each week. This week’s topic is Ten Reasons I Love X — could be a certain book, character, author, your indie bookstore, a fandom, a tv show, reading, a hobby, a genre. Honestly anything you want to gush about.

A couple of months ago, I wrote a post (“DisembARCing”, here) about why I was quitting the ARC merry-go-round and sticking to reading what I want, when I want from here on out. So far, it’s been great! I’ve gotten through the remaining ARCs I’d already committed to, and meanwhile, I’m picking my books based on my whims and fancies.


Here are my ten reasons that I love my new approach to reading:

1) I’m excited about reading again! It’s totally fine to pick something random off my shelf, read a library book, or jump on a brand new release. I can do whatever I want!

2) I’m only reading books that I really want to read. I don’t feel pressured by the calendar or my ARC spreadsheet (yes, I have one) to read a certain book on a certain date.

3) I can change course mid-stream. Maybe I planned to read book X this week… but you know what? Not in the mood so much anymore. And not a problem — it’s on to book Y!

4) I’m enjoying a healthy mix of old and new and everything in between. Sure, I still read new releases, but I’m also much more open to reading books on my shelves.

5) Re-reading? Not a problem. I’m setting the pace here, and if I feel like taking time for an old favorite, I will.

6) I can dive into a series and read straight through, if that’s what I feel like doing. This year, I finally read the Miss Peregrine series (wrap-up post here) and all of Buffy season 9, and it was fun, fun, fun to go on a mad binge with no pressure or deadlines.

7) There’s a lot more spontaneity to my reading, and that’s a good thing. I like wandering by my book piles and picking up whatever catches my eye. And if it doesn’t suit my mood at that moment, I put it back and take something else.

8) Did I mention the lack of pressure? NO PRESSURE! It’s totally up to me and me alone if I want to read a given book during a given week, or if I want to set aside a book I’ve started because it’s just not the right time or I just don’t feel like it right in that moment.

9) I love the idea that I’m not beholden to anyone when it comes to my reading. It’s not like we sign in blood or promise our first-borns in exchange for ARCs, but accepting ARCs does come with an tacit understanding that a review or at least a mention will follow, preferably within a reasonable period of time around the publication date. I still like to read certain books and authors as close to the release date as possible… but no one can make me feel bad if I don’t!

10) Okay, coming up with 10 is actually hard… so I’ll just wrap it up by saying that my new, casual approach to deciding what to read when is putting a new spring in my step! It sounds crazy to even say, but it’s just so liberating to read without worrying about commitments!

Now, this doesn’t mean that I’ll never, ever request another ARC ever again in my entire life. But it does mean that I’m going to be selective, and sparing, and only get back on the ARC roller coaster for books that I know I absolutely want to read.

So that’s my top 10 for this open-ended TTT topic! What’s your list about this week? Share your links and let me know!


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16 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Reasons I Love Commitment-Free Reading

  1. Oh wow, great post. I have been planning on getting some ARCs from September after I complete my fial semester at Uni. I have always been jealous of all the people reading ARCs but your post has made me realize that I still have it good without them. I do like the fact that I can do all those things that you have mentioned in the post 🙂

    • I go up and down with my interest in ARCs, but I always end up feeling happier when I don’t feel like I have pressure to read something by a certain date. 🙂

  2. I love that you’re excited again! I’m trying to cut down on my ARCs and reviews requests because I just wasn’t getting to a lot of them. I see people who read so many ARCs and I have no idea how they do it. Great list!

    My TTT

  3. I agree with a lot of things on this post! I’ve been cutting down my ARC requests too. I’m still requesting but only for books/publishers that I really really love only. Otherwise, I just pick books that I already own, doesn’t matter either new or old. 😀

  4. Great post!!! Here recently I feel like all I do is “required” reading with my ARCs. I’ve quit accepting them except from authors I’ve reviewed (and enjoyed) previously. It’s been a refreshing change of pace. Hoping in a few months I can join you in reading what I want when I want 🙂
    My TTT

  5. I can totally see why you would want to give up ARCs. I stopped reviewing ARCs for two or three years, and I’m just sort of starting to do it again at a much more leisurely pace.

  6. I agree! A few years ago, I decided to be super particular with any books I requested from Edelweiss or Netgalley. In fact, I rarely request any. I always ask myself “Am I going to read this book before it is released?” If the answer is “no” or even “I’m not sure” I don’t request it. Because I can always get it from the library, or even buy it for myself, when I want (If I want!). It’s great. And I do think it’s really important to read and review backlist books too.

  7. Man that sounds so freeing! I recently realized how scheduled I am with how I read (well I think I’ve always been conscience of it, I just didn’t actually fully come to terms with it until a fews days ago) I calculate how much I read a day so I can stay on a schedule, it’s so crazy. I have no idea how I got into this mentality that I have to read at least 100 pages a day. Now trying to break this system is going to be hard for me.

  8. I agree on all if this 100%! Even when I was getting ARCs I was NEVER truly on top of them, so it just became one big cycle of “oh crap, I got more than I thought I would, OK I’ll read a couple, oh wait I never reviewed that one I really liked, oh look this book that comes out next season looks fantastic!” Rinse and repeat. ARCs were just too tempting to pass up but I finally realized I was doing no one any favors, including myself! Reading without commitments is so much better, even if I’m not truly obligated to review absolutely everything I might receive. My eyes are always bigger than my stomach when it cones to books (or whatever the non food equivalent of that saying is!)

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