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A Chair, A Fireplace & a Tea Cozy
Inside A Chair, A Fireplace & a Tea Cozy

E-Reading

My ereader is still pretty new; it was an early Christmas present to myself.

I signed up for NetGalley, carefully filled out my profile, and included my review policy of not reviewing every book I request.

I requested a few titles; one of them was reviewed here, The Kitchen Counter Cooking School.

Here is my current dilemma, and I’m open to all suggestions, advice, etc.

I requested other titles; got approved; but for several reasons didn’t get around to reading them. (Holidays, catching up on the Morris shortlist because I’d read only one, etc.)

Right now? I’m semi-paralyzed about what to request next. My TBR pile is about 20-odd high, between the Edgar, Andre Norton and LA Times nominees, then Kelly at Stacked recommended five 2012 titles and I requested them so now want to read them, plus a few other specific titles I requested, not to mention some committee reading I have to do for my state library association.

Ideally, I should be using NetGalley for some of those books I request, I know that. But what I found, back in December, was that without the physical book or ARC in a pile, looking at me like a cat waiting for its dinner, it was easy for me to ignore.

As I was writing this, I realized that it’s not solely about NetGalley. I have purchased a bunch of ebooks, but when it comes to reading, the physical book or ARC is what I pick up.

So, here is what I’m looking for. I’m sure if I just get the proper routine with using my ereader, if I’m just organized the proper way, I can make the best use of what I purchase as an ebook or request in egalley format and mix that reading in with my paper books. My usual method (this is so old school!) is actual piles of books in my work space. That doesn’t work with ebooks.

So, in short…. HELP!

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About Elizabeth Burns

Looking for a place to talk about young adult books? Pull up a chair, have a cup of tea, and let's chat. I am a New Jersey librarian. My opinions do not reflect those of my employer, SLJ, YALSA, or anyone else. On Twitter I'm @LizB; my email is lizzy.burns@gmail.com.

Comments

  1. Alicia says:

    If you find a solution to this problem, please share it widely! I think most people have this same issue. I know I do. Something about the physical book staring at you from a looming TBR pile makes you feel like you must read it immediately. The only time I feel that kind of pressure from my ereader is when I have a library checkout and I know the file will disappear in a few days and I’ll miss my chance to read. Othewise, I tend to only use my ereader when traveling or commuting on public transit without a physical book in-hand.

  2. tanita says:

    Aaargh! I know. Even just reading them on my laptop, as I have done, I don’t “see” them and they often expire. I hate it, it’s supposed to be convenient and saving trees, but I am Old Skool. Trying to teach the elderly puppy new tricks…

    What works for me is to put it on my CALENDAR. I open my email, and I get a note about what book I should work on reading for the week. Sad, I know, but I need electronic reminders for electronic books…

  3. Melanie says:

    I’m by no means perfect at this–it’s much easier for me to keep up with physical books that are in my face. I have also found it helpful to put expiration dates on my calendar or create a physical or digital sticky note that lists the pub and/or expiration dates of digital galleys. That helps me a bit to prioritize them and know when they are about to disappear. Do I always get to them? No. But at least I am usually aware of which titles I am letting go rather than realizing after it is too late.

  4. Doret says:

    I would recommend requesting the galleys when you want them but don’t download onto your reader until your close to reading it that why you will have more time. I am a supersititious reader, and one of my things is if I start a new book, I always have to have a back up just in case the first book isn’t good. It never fails if I go somewhere and wait for a long time and I don’t have a back up, the book I’ve started will turn quickly and I am left waiting with nothing to do. Instead of carry two books, I just always to bring along my ereader and it really helps me to keep up with my netgalley reads.

    Another great time to read an ebook is when your lunch requires two hands, like tacos or hamburgers. You don’t have to worry about staining the book when you turn the page.

  5. Sarah Hill says:

    I’m exactly the same–I have netgalley books on my kindle, but I rarely get to them. I think it’s because the physical books on my living room shelf are glaring at me to be read? I’ve found that I use the ereader when I travel the most, but, when I’m home, not so much.

  6. Jessica says:

    Total opposite for me. I always have my Kindle with, especially in bed when I have insomnia, so I’m much more likely to read something that is on there. I send all my Netgalley books there. I also have all my titles sorted into the collections including ones called, “To read” and “To review” These appear on the home screen every time I open my Kindle and remind me of what I need to read.

    Paper ARCs end up scattered all over and I forgot I have them or don’t have them with me when I want to read.

    Also knowing that I have all kinds of new and interesting things on the Kindle just waiting for me, makes me want to pick it up and start reading. So it’s become a habit. And for me, the fact that the ereader is so much easier to hold and read in bed at night, makes a huge difference – that’s the kind of reward that motivates me to read

  7. Karen says:

    I’ve actually moved to reading almost everything on my reader, something that I didn’t think would ever happen. It’s really changed my reading habits – I’ll read things I never would have thought I’d enjoy because they’re available on NetGalley, and I’ve found some new things I love.

    I’m not a reviewer. I occasionally review things on GoodReads, but my NetGalley profile clearly states that I’m a librarian and most of my influence comes from recommending books to my customers. I generally do what Doret recommends: request books that look interesting as I see them, but don’t download until I’m ready for them. I’ll occasionally go in and download a bunch at a time and then sort them into categories I’ve set up on my Kindle, so when I’m in the mood for a specific type of book (“Historical Romance” or “Teen Apocalypse/Dystopia”, for example) I can find something good quickly. I also have a category called “Priority Reads” – this is where I put things I want to read RIGHT AWAY. It’s usually empty, though.

    After I finish a book, I take it OUT of the category it was originally in and move it to a “Read” category. Since the author and description metadata doesn’t show up on the Kindle, this helps me avoid opening up a book I’ve already finished, not remembering the title. (I’m really bad at titles).

    Don’t know if this will help you, but this generally works for me.

  8. Brandy says:

    I had this same problem at first as well. I have started writing them into my planner in pencil-one a week-I put them in order of preference/deadline. This has helped me make a dent in mine.

  9. Sondy says:

    Maybe I shouldn’t answer this, because I haven’t read a single book on an ereader yet. After our library got a kindle, I signed up for Netgalley, but haven’t requested anything yet. However, I’ve started getting ARCs read with better time by making myself a system, alternating between library books and books I own. It since got much more complicated, adding in Award Winners and Rereads, and making every other book I own a prepub ARC. But it works for me. So if I ever actually request Netgalley books, I’d stick “ebook” into that system somewhere. Another thought: stick the ereader in your physical TBR pile! :)

  10. Ariel says:

    Arg, I have this same problem!

    I also struggle because I try to read a significant portion of the new books we get in here at my library (so I can recommend them and stuff!), and library books have those pesky due dates! So I end up getting sucked in to always reading my library books, and my netgalley, purchased books, and ARCS are all neglected. Like Sondy, though, I try to stick with a system (library book, netgalley book, book I own of some sort, repeat!), but then I get a whole pile of library books that are due *woosh!* it goes out the window.

    So, ah, no advice here, but I feel your pain!

  11. Jess says:

    I’m reading my first ebook right now (Kindle app on my new phone) and so far the only time I’ve read it is at the gym. So I’m hardly an expert on fitting them in, but maybe if there’s a specific time or activity you associate with your ebooks? I guess it also depends on how willing you are to read multiple books at once (I have no problem with it).

  12. Angela Carstensen Liz B says:

    Alicia, I’m glad I’m not alone, and there are some good suggestions being made here.

    tanita, I really want to take more advantage; I want to be reading both print and e. If I can just discipline myself. The calendar idea is a good one.

    Melanie, another vote for calendar. And I’m thinking about maybe an actual sticky note on the nook (the cover, not the nook itself).

    Doret, good ideas to use the reader as my back up when I may run out of reading materials.

    Sarah, I’m heading out to PLA and have resolved not to bring anything but the ereader: not an arc, book, or magazine.

    Jessica, knowing that it is that easy for you is inspiration that I can create new habits. I do not want to be that “argh, ebooks, tried ‘em once, only print” grumpy people.

    Karen, I like the suggestions of creating areas within the reader. I’m a list person, and this type of organization fits in with that –

    Brandy, another vote for calendar! Which I think may be the best solution for me. Time to play with google calendar

    Sondy, I like the idea of switching back and forth between e and print. I’ll include that in my calendar plan.

    Ariel, my best laid plans of what to read next go “whoosh” when I see new lists of starred books! Then I’m pulling new books to read when I haven’t finished the old ones.

    Jess, great idea! Thank you!

  13. Maureen says:

    I have an absurdly old school way of handling this. I make the ebooks into physical things that can glare at me. No, not by printing them out. I have a stash of old ARCs that nobody ever wanted from me. And no matter how much I lecture myself, I can’t seem to toss ‘em When I add a book to my reader, I write down the title on a skinny sticky tab, stick it on the spine of an ARC, and put it on the TBR shelf next to my p-books. (It helps that I also have a system where there are only a certain number of books on this shelf at any one time.) Clunky? Probably, but it works, especially when combined with the habit mentioned upthread of only downloading a galley when you’re going to read it soon. Now if only I could figure out how to keep those archiving dates straight. I’ve missed more books that way . . .

  14. Angela Carstensen Liz B says:

    Maureen — I love your inventiveness! Great way to take care of the “I need to see the book” dilemma.

  15. Karin says:

    I read ebooks, physical books, and audio books. I just kind of keep all three categories in my head. I have them going at the same time. I never used to be one to read more than one book at a time, but it has gotten a lot easier. So, at night I choose the book that appeals to my mood at the time. Or, the ebook if my husband needs the light out and the physical book if he is awake reading too.

  16. Keisha says:

    Liz, thanks for starting this conversation. Like you, I too was given an E-reader for the holidays and haven’t been able to use it except for uploading articles for reading (finishing up library school). I identify with being a visual learner, so having the book right in front of me has always been my preference. I still spill coffee – but having the convenience to read all of these articles makes it easier for me (although highlighting can be a bit cumbersome). Once I’m finished with school, I can definitely get back into my groove of (leisure) reading! That said, the comments on this thread offer great ideas and make having an E-reader seem less of a chore, as I fit into the category of “piling up books by my nightstand”. Thanks everyone, and cheers to happy reading! :-)

  17. Angela Carstensen Liz B says:

    karin, I used to have a read-at-work book and a read-at-home book but now I tend to have one book, plus sometimes an audio book.

    keisha, thanks!

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