Where my review books came from

Saw a post over at J. Kaye’s book blog a few days ago about where she had gotten her last 20 review books. She had gotten the idea from Presenting Lenore, who had been inspired by Marie of The Boston Bibliophile. See how much fun the blogging community can be? One blogger inspires another and it snowballs from there!

When I started my blog, I had no expectations that anyone would ever send me free books for review. I assumed that review copies were reserved for the big bloggers with huge followings. And I was perfectly fine with that. I’m a dedicated bookaholic who will continue to read no matter where the books come from. Between my library, online bookstores, and my friendly local book store, I will never run out of books. I read for pleasure and blog to share my love of books.

That being said, I was over the moon when I got the first email asking if I would be interested in a review copy. I am still surprised when someone contacts me about reviewing their books. Have no idea how they find me, as I don’t take part in blog tours, don’t have contests, and have never done an interview. As a new blogger, I’m waiting to get more comfortable before diving into the deep end of the pool. *L*

So here are the last 20 books I’ve read or received, as I haven’t completed 20 reviews yet:

  • Undone by Rachel Caine – bought
  • Vision in White by Nora Roberts – library book
  • Sins & Shadows by Lyn Benedict – bought
  • Red Headed Stepchild by Jaye Wells – bought
  • Echoes in the Dark by Robin D Owens – bought
  • The Photograph by Penelope Lively – library book
  • Stepsister Scheme by Jim Hines – bought
  • Norse Code by Greg van Eekhout – bought
  • Die for You by Lisa Unger – ARC review copy
  • Once Dead, Twice Shy by Kim Harrison – library book
  • Shadow of Betrayal by Brett Battles – ARC review copy
  • Lover Avenged by JR Ward – library book
  • 0 to 60 by Susan Slater – review copy
  • Chemo KateLynn by Andrea Lynn Katz – ARC review copy
  • Finger Lickin‘ Fifteen by Janet Evanovich – library book
  • Story Sisters by Alice Hoffman – library book
  • Stray by Rachel Vincent – library book
  • The Strain by Guillermo Del Torro – library book
  • Under the Radar by Fern Michaels – borrowed from friend
  • Look Again by Lisa Scottoline – library book

So of the last 20 books I’ve read, 9 have been from the library, 6 were purchased, 4 were free review copies, and 1 was lent to me by a friend. Seems like the free review copies don’t really have that much of an impact on my reading.


Take a look at my current TBR piles: 8 were purchased, 11 were won in contests, and 14 are review copies. Only have 1 book checked out of the library right now because I need to catch up on reading the review copies.

J.Kaye gave me some excellent advice that I was a little slow to take: only accept review copies that you really want to read. I still find it hard to turn down offers of free books, but accepting a book you wouldn’t read if it wasn’t free isn’t fair to either you or the author. I’m still learning, but have started saying ‘no thank you’ to books that don’t interest me.

And while some bloggers are concerned that getting free review copies will slant their opinion, I can honestly say that this has never crossed my mind. I treat review copies the same way I treat all of my other books. I will give my honest opinion no matter where I get the book.

See what I mean about snowballing? J. Kaye, Lenore, and Marie’s posts were a little different than this one. Sorry for rambling a bit, but I am curious where other bloggers get their review books, and if they think getting a book for free will slant the review in any way. And should a blogger mention where they got the book: review copy vs library vs purchase?


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8 thoughts on “Where my review books came from

  1. for me it isn't so much that the book is free per se, it's the relationships that develop between bloggers and publicists that makes me wonder how much pressure people feel to deliver positive reviews. I don't feel pressured to review free books positively as such but in the past, when I've had someone trying to butter me up with compliments and offers, I have felt pressured to do so. that's my real question.

  2. Those are good thoughts. I am trying to cut down on the number of books I receive and only read books that interest me.
    Sometimes a book sounds great, but isn't nearly as good when I receive it.

  3. J Kayes right and I learned that the hard way too. It is so excitng at first to be asked to review a book… but then when the ones come you really do wish to read – you have several you have committed to that you really wish you hadnt. It didnt take me long to learn how to say no thank you. 🙂

    I also agree with the integrity comment. It doesnt matter where the book came from, I am very clear that any review I do you will get me honest opinion. I have that started in my review policy.

    Good post!

  4. Oh look at you! You are my hero with so many library books. After posting mine, I have worked out in my head to read more library books.

    As far as Marie's comment and post, I don't feel the pressure. I've already made my technique of reviewing clear to everyone. The book has 25 pages to impress me. If not, I am out of there. I also tell promo people and authors not to bug me about getting a review done.

    This attitude has made me a not so likable person to work with and oh well, I crack under pressure. No one wants to see me crack…it's a hideous sight.

    I am a HUGE promoter of books, but the key is that I only promo ones I like. That said, I will do giveaways on books I haven't read. Okay, I think I am getting off track or maybe I was never there to begin with. Either way, this was an interesting topic.

  5. I'm really new to the blogging community, and haven't really started writing book reviews yet. I'm a little nervous about it, but will when I'm finished with my current read.

    Anyway, it's really cool that you have the chance to get free books to review, that in itself should be a compliment, I think. I do agree that you should only take the books that you are interested in, because if you’re not interested in that type of book it might not get the review it should for someone who would be interested in it. But I get what you’re saying it'd be hard for me to say no to a free book also!

    Sorry, I don't really have any answers to your questions due to the fact that I'm a blogging newbie! But I'll be a new found follower, and can't wait to read your reviews!

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