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In My Mailbox

Don’t get all excited! No, this isn’t me doing an In My Mailbox post.

This is me explaining what In The Mailbox is. Full information is at The Story Siren‘s blog — but don’t worry, more on that in a moment.

A blogger tracks the books they received during the week: books from publishers, picked up from the library, etc. The blogger does one post listing all those books that were “in the mailbox” that week. Not books read, not books reviewed, but books received.

Typically, the post is done on a Sunday. The Story Siren (who originated In The Mailbox and was inspired by Pop Culture Junkie) hosts the round up of all these posts. Which just means that the blogger goes there and leaves a link to their post. Blog readers have one handy place where they can find all the In The Mailbox posts rounded up and can click through to read them.

I’ll be honest — don’t expect to be seeing any In My Mailbox posts here. Why? Time. Or rather, lack of it. I just don’t have the time to put together the post. Especially videos! But that is just fear of seeing myself on camera, more than the imagined hours of time I think it would take to get even five seconds where I don’t hate my voice.


I can see the appeal of In My Mailbox. It is one way to track incoming books. For those bloggers who may get more books than they have time to review, it’s a way of mentioning books that they may not otherwise have the time to blog about.  As The Story Siren explains, “IMM was not made to “show-off” or cause jealousy among bloggers.” By posting about what was received that week it’s a way for other bloggers to get a sense of what new books are floating around out in the blogosphere. Bottom line, to quote myself from a year or so ago, In My Mailbox is “a very clever, entertaining way to share new and upcoming titles with people.”

Do you participate in In My Mailbox? Why, or why not? As a reader, what do you like best about it?

If you want more information on memes check out The Daily Meme. Please let me know about other young adult book blogger memes in the comments, and I’ll highlight them in future posts. Who knows, at some point I may even join in!

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


  1. I didn’t want to do this one for a long time, and my cobloggers and I chose not to. But eventually, we did. Why? Well, it was less the “showing off” upcoming titles but more to thank the publishers. I can’t possibly read every book I get for review (and many times, I actually give them to kids at work) but in doing this, I can at least acknowledge I got the book.

    What annoys me is that so few of the participants give me any sense of the books they received. I want to know what’s appealing about it and why I should care. I try to do that and make connections (author’s other titles, books that sound similar, etc.).

    I do love the people who highlight library picks AND the ones who show off what they bought. I think there’s a lot of pride among bloggers who “don’t ever buy books!” Bad news.

  2. I tend to skip over the IMM posts that pop up in my blog feeder. Sometimes I’ll skim the titles or pictures, but I don’t watch the videos. The lack of context, like Kelly mentions, is a big turn off – it’s just a list of books you’ve received (through whatever method), rarely with any commentary on why you wanted that book, or what turns you off, etc.

    I don’t get a lot of books sent to me by publishers, so I don’t have trouble keeping track of what books I’ve received that way. I do, however, have a constantly growing spreadsheet where I keep track of titles, pub dates, where I heard about it from, what piques my interest, and when I bought it/requested it from the library, as well as notes for whether I’ve finished reading it or if I’ve blogged it yet. All the information that I could be putting into an IMM post (or Waiting on Wednesday, for titles that are forthcoming and I haven’t received yet), but prefer to keep private.

  3. I participate in IMM and I see it as a way to spread the word about upcoming books. If I don’t have many books to post about, I’ll post a plot summary (usually from jacket/ARC copy or from GoodReads), but if I have a bunch of books, I just link to GoodReads to keep the post from being massive.

    I like IMM and I followed it for a while before I started posting my own. I log on to the roundup each week and check out at least a handful of posts. For me, it’s an easy way to see what’s getting buzz around the blogosphere, what upcoming books do I want to keep my eye on, etc. That’s what I’m getting out of the posts and that’s what I hope others would get out of my posts!

    (I do find it annoying when bloggers don’t at least link the titles to a place where I can find more information about them – GoodReads, Indie Bound, Amazon, publisher’s website, SOMETHING. But then I’ll just log on to GoodReads and find it myself…)

  4. I would like IMM , is if I saw more of the arc’s mentioned being reviewed at the blogs. One of my pet peeves is a blogger listing several arc’s and I return much later and still none are reviewed.

    If you don’t have time to review it, don’t accept the arc.

    I love On Smugglers Radar at Book Smugglers. The two bloggers review a lot and I know they will review more than a few of the books on their radar. Plus they include the summaries in a visually fun way.

    I am not a big fan of listing books I recieved, no matter the source.

    I did do New Crayons at Color Online a few times , but I didn’t like putting it together at all. I finally confessed this to Ari and she does it now.

  5. As a blogger I completely don’t blog enough, let alone post enough reviews, for me to have any reason to participate (also I don’t GET books in my mailbox, usually. I get them from the library. At which point all those reviewed-from-ARC-types read them, like, LAST YEAR, and don’t care anymore).

    As a librarian/reader, I don’t really get much from In My Mailbox either– it’s just like looking through a catalog without intending to buy any books just then, everything sort of runs right through my head without my thinking about it. I tend to just skim by them. They’re not as exciting as, say, Betsy Bird’s Librarian Preview posts, which also cover Lots of Titles Coming Soon But Not Yet, but those at least are full of funny tidbits of information about the titles and authors and Betsy’s opinions… and even THOSE I have to skim through most of the time.

    So, doesn’t mean much to me.

  6. Kelly, I definately am thinking of the unsolicited review copies that I may or may not read getting at least some blog time. Wanting to put something “more” than the title of the book — yes, good idea, but just another reason why I don’t think I’ll be doing IMM.

    Angela, I’m jealous of your spreadsheet! My organization is dedicated bookshelves, I pencil in source in the book (ALA, mail, etc).

    Abby, as with other blog reading, I go in cycles. Some months I read a lot of IMMs and then skip them for months, sometimes I just skim reviews, etc. While I do get stuff from publishers, I don’t have contacts with all publishers so it’s a good way to keep an eye out for buzz-y titles.

    Doret, I cannot speak for any other blogger. I know, for myself, I get books I don’t ask for because I’m on the mailing list or some such. I didn’t ask, so I may or may not read it, and I actually like that because it’s more like mainstream reviews and it shifts the choice to me; I feel no obligation to read what I didn’t ask for, but I am very appreciative of the opportunity to review it if it’s something I’m interested in and have the time for. So, at least for me, it’s not about accepting things or asking for things just for the “oh, shiny, I got it!” I understand your frustration.

    rockin, I think that those outside libraries (who don’t have access to catalogs) get more out of reading IMM. And yes, Betsy’s preview recaps make you feel like you’re there!

  7. I don’t participate. I don’t get a huge number of books from publishers or authors, but I get some. But, most of the books I get are ones that I bought. Just like I don’t participate in Library Loot because I don’t want to publicly admit how many library books I have at a time, I’d rather not publicly admit how much of my paycheck goes to Amazon…

  8. I don’t participate but do skim the posts now and again to see what’s out and about. Many people get books that I’ve not yet heard about so it allows me to see what’s coming up.

  9. Thanks for featuring IMM, Liz. Kind of ironic that it coincides this week with the 100th post of IMM!

    The comments are very interesting and it’s always nice to see what people think about the meme.

  10. Jennie, when I worked in a public library I had more “library loot.” Now I have very little, because my town library has a way small YA section and my county library is $100/year and between that (and the fines I would be paying because I know me, my middle name is Overdue), I just don’t use the local libraries.

    Michelle, I like seeing what other people get and I also like to see what publishers are pushing. I go to previews when I can, read the catalogs, etc., but it’s also interesting to see what books the publishers are sending to bloggers, or what publicists are sending, etc.

    Story Siren, Happy 100th! Always interesting to see just how varied and different responses are to the same thing. When I got a galley of the new Stroud book, I tweeted my “Squee, yay, I’m so excited.” Was that misinterpreted by people? Maybe. But I was excited! Anyway, thanks for stopping by and Happy 100th (and my hats off to you for doing those weekly vlogs. Maybe after I lose about 20 pounds….)

  11. I go back and forth on IMM and if I like it or not. I don’t like that it feels like bragging a lot of the time, but I get waaay too many books now-more than I can ever review and lots I didn’t request, so I feel it’s a way for me to at least highlight those books and get them out there. I do try to have GoodReads links and summaries if it’s not a book heavy week and I have time so at least people can read about it and add to their list.

    I have a little meme that gets some following-Tween Tuesday. I started it because I felt there was so much YA getting featured and I wanted to make sure I focused on stuff for the MG readers-either grades 3-6 or 6-8-I count both in my tween reviews. Plus, it keeps me up to date on my MG reading too.