Creating a bio on social media is one of the hardest things that I’ve ever done (I feel like this deserves #firstworldproblems). How do you compose everything about yourself in 140 characters? Goodreads at least gives you a solid paragraph of bio. On WordPress, I could have a whole blog dedicated to who I am, and even then, it’s like the longer the bio allowed, the harder it gets to pare down what you want to say. In a bio of a few sentences, you choose the markers of your self-hood. Creating a bio on a place where I get approved or rejected based on said-bio is even worse. On Shark Tank they say to lead with the numbers, but I always lead with the cereal-obsession, or the standards of being a cat lady, or the brutal statistics of my love for wildflowers (a la Alice).
This is one of the reasons why I suck so hard at NetGalley. I can’t create a bio that sells me as a reputable blogger. And let’s be honest, lately, I haven’t been. I’ve been slacking on reviews, unable to come up with interesting blog topics, and I’m in yet another reading funk. As a teacher, I find it hard to read when all day my brain has been actively influencing other smaller brains to work.
The best reason I suck at NetGalley though is because I hate people telling me what to read. Yes, I have the power to request the books that I want to read. But even then, the idea that now I have to read it in order to review it for a publisher that was nice enough to grant me early access makes me avoid it all together. This is the exact reason I still haven’t read my favorite authors newest book, Fates and Furies. (I have read every review ever though so it’s almost like I’ve read the book without all the fancy). I may also be avoiding it until I know she’s working on another book so I don’t have to wait too long to have her words again in my hand. It’s like buying really beautiful pieces for your wardrobe and then never wearing them because you don’t want to ruin them.
I suck, because like high school, when you tell me I have to read something by a certain date I pointlessly avoid it with the power of procrastination and Catholic guilt. NetGalley does this to me every time. It’s not even like I read the books that have been gifted to me, I’m not reading them because if I was I would definitely be reviewing them. I might even buy them in the store or get them from the library after I’ve had them on my NetGalley dashboard for months.
I have a 40% review rate on NetGalley.
NetGalley recommends an 80% review rate.
This. is. sad.
Then, there’s ebooks. I love my kindle. It’s got a cute case. It’s easy to access. It carries like two hundred and ninety seven books on it so when I’m traveling it’s perfect. However, it has to be charged. I have to swipe to turn a page. All the pages of every book look the same. Poetry gets this weird, ridiculous format. It glows, but it doesn’t show in color and if I want color then I have to read a computer screen for most of the evening. There’s no perfect ebook on the market and if you have one that doesn’t strain your eyes, or truly feels like a real book, then let me know because I will buy it. The closest I’ve found is my Kindle Paperwhite. And look, it just ain’t a real book. It highlights yes, but then to find that page again is a three step process and I keep a book quote notebook (#BUJO) and I need easy access to everything I loved about that book.
My obsession with post-it note flags can’t be enacted on my kindle. I can’t brush my hand along the side of the pages and feel each little mark of love. I can’t write my own handwriting into a kindle. There’s no annotation feature. If I was a college student, I would be dead in the water with a Kindle.
There is no other way to read books with Netgalley. You get an email, or you get a pdf, or you get both. I’m a reader who needs a paper copy. I have to want to pick up my kindle. For your information, my kindle fell behind my bed’s side table in the beginning of December and I just picked it up and charged it because I got access (on NetGalley) to Kate Tempests new novel.
AND NOTHING WILL KEEP ME FROM THAT BOOK. EVEN MY OWN SUCK.
(This doesn’t mean I’ll stop sucking anytime soon though, there will just be less suck for a time. Kind of like history).
How’s your relationship with the galley? Are you able to push yourself to the 80% suggested reading rate, or do you have to take time off from Kindle ever so often. There’s too many used bookstores in the world, cheap, cheap, cheap used bookstores for me not to read a paper back that opens like a locked chest in my hand.
PS. Can I send this as a review for all those books on my shelf that I didn’t review yet? Sorry (not sorry).
I am a writer, educator and genuine creative living on the coast of NC. Our house is built on sunshine with my husband BJ, dog named Tucker, and our two very sassy cats: Fromage and Jasper.