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Imaginary Chats: I Wish I Lived in a Library & What to do with Unsolicited Books?

Friday, December 14, 2012
It's probably a good thing that I don't have the supernatural ability to walk through walls and, if so, don't have the brains to detect and outsmart security cameras. I'd be walking out the walls of my house and sneaking into the library every night to "borrow" books. Or, I'd just set up a nest right in there, in which case I'd also need the ability to make myself invisible. That'd be the start to my quest of establishing the world of libraries as my own little dominion because I'd start wanting more and more.

I got started on this topic because I visited the library for the first time in MONTHS, not to mention me being book deprived because of the self-ban I placed on myself when finals started. (And I was already semi-book-deprived by then because I don't get to read as much as I'd like when I have classes going on.) Needless to say, my mom was shocked by the huge stack of books I had on hold. As soon as finals ended, I started browsing the library catalogue for books that I'd been looking forward to reading but didn't have the means to access while stranded on the island of my campus. Combined with the number of books that I have for review, I'm going to be smothered by book love by the time the holidays are over.

If I could, I would live in a library complete with a spacious bed-couch with loads of pillows smack in the center, so I never have to travel far to get started on a book. The walls would be lined with shelves and books upon books. I was browsing library photos on Pinterest and became intrigued by the idea of having tall stepladders in my library. It'd be neat to have bookshelves so tall that I needed to climb up stairs to reach certain books. I probably wouldn't be able to read so many books in a lifetime, but it would be awe-inspiring to gaze upon such a huge collection of books. What I wouldn't give for a couple hundred more years to read in my not-so-very-little library.

How about you? What's your dream library?

Reader Question
Natalie asked:
What do you do with the unsolicited books that you can't review and can't afford to give away?
Confession time. I still have some of these books stacked on one of my bookshelves. I know that I may never get to these books, but a small part of me hopes that I can get to these one day. Some publicists will ask before sending you a book for review, but there are also times when they'll send you a package of books to look at. It's all about prioritizing. When I am emailed about a possible book review and accept it, I will definitely read and review it no matter how long it takes, though I try not to take too long to do this.

An unsolicited package is another matter. I will take a look at the books, and there is bound to be at least one or two that I was interested in and will get to faster. When the box contains eight or so books, however, it may be impossible for me to read all of them within the month of publication given all the other books that I also receive. In this case, I turn to my blogmates and ask if they can review some of them for me. Alice is really flexible, and I can count on her to take on a couple more books than she's scheduled for if needed. I can count on Austin to read books that target guys more so than girls. These are usually few in number, so he typically reviews around once a month. I also don't have to pay shipping for them, so that's a plus.

Another option is to hold one big book giveaway instead of multiple smaller giveaways. It's surprising how much you can save just by doing this, especially if you're using a flat-rate box and keep it to US only. There is also the old-fashioned method of giving these books away to friends or donating them to the library or a charity. Publicists are human and understand that we can't review every single book that we're given. I do try to review most, if not all, that I'm given. However, it's just impossible given all the other things I have to do. What we can do is do our best to ensure that the books that we absolutely are not able to review find good homes with fellow book lovers who'll treasure them and possibly review them.

Note - If you're going to host a giveaway on your blog, it's polite to let the publicist know about it. Usually, the books will come with contact information on a sheet of paper if not email. If you can't find any, then the publicist probably doesn't expect you to contact him or her, and I would think that you're free to do what you want with the books.

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10 comments on "Imaginary Chats: I Wish I Lived in a Library & What to do with Unsolicited Books?"
  1. Thanks Kris for the advice. I'm planning a few bigger giveaways to give away some of mine and will try to donate the rest. I think you're able to review way more books than me, which is awesome.

    I don't go to the library as much either because I always have a stack of ARCs to read for my author interviews. I miss going to the library.

    1. I hope your books find good homes!

      I too visit the library less often nowadays, but it's a great place to go check out new selections I may not have heard about. That, and my mom doesn't feel the pressing need to buy new books for me. The library is also an old friend of mine. I recommend taking the time to go out there and leisurely browse the shelves. There are few better ways to pass the time :)

  2. I learned a lot here thank you. Things I never knew.

  3. Great post! I just received an unsolicited review copy today, and while I won't be reviewing it on my blog because it's an adult title, I'm going to keep it on my shelves a while, just in case I feel like reading it within the next few months. If not, I may just pass it on to someone who would appreciate it.

    1. Thanks, Chey! I'm iffy about adult titles as well. I received a couple adult paranormal books a little back but haven't checked them out yet. If I don't read them anytime soon, I'll probably give them away as well.

  4. I didn't put myself on a books/library ban for finals, but yes, college really sucks all the free-time out of my life. I think I could only manage to read one book a week if I was super lucky. Audiobooks worked great during commutes...except when the narrator sounded as energetic as a sloth (my tendency to fall asleep on bus ride didn't help either.)

    So of course I requested ALL the books from the library in anticipation for the holiday season. To the point the librarian was like "We were wondering when you were going to come around!" because my stack of holds took up so much room. *innocent whistle*

    Lilian @ A Novel Toybox

    1. I remember the days when I felt lucky to squeeze in one book in a week. Now, here I am on break and I'm reading three in one day! I feel that I may have contributed to the cart that the library used for holds with people's last names starting in the range mine falls under. :)

  5. What a great post!! I always find these great for information, especially for someone (like me) who isn't a blogger. Nowadays though, it's so daunting I don't even think about doing it.

  6. I really enjoyed this post. You had a lot of useful info :D
    Thanks, very interesting


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