One of the blessings of working in the publishing industry is that you’re given plenty of books for free. Right now, I’ve got three stacks of books and galleys on my desk, plus another tower on my night table at home, none of which I actually bought. And it’s not like they’re all cast-offs or remainders, either. We’re talking front-list, big-book titles here—in other words, good stuff!
Yet, as much as I appreciate the swag, I find that sometimes it’s a curse as well. The constant availability of books means that I often procrastinate on reading what I actually want to read—or worse, I don’t get to them at all. I’m a huge fan of the Hunger Games books, but it took me months to get around to Mockingjay, not because of the reviews or word-of-mouth, but because I simply had other stuff that looked intriguing at hand. And I still haven’t gotten around to A Visit from the Good Squad. Or Freedom.
Are the freebies books I would have sought out and purchased? Probably not. But in most cases I was glad to read them, and certainly there’s an educational benefit to reading books on subjects I’d never consider while browsing in the store. On the other hand, it’s been years since I read any classics, because that would mean actually going out and getting the books—and I do worry that my sense of perspective has become limited to what’s contemporary.
I know, it’s pretty obnoxious to complain about having too many free books… and okay, when it comes to book shopping I’m remarkably lazy, too. But still, I’m curious: do you ever put off reading what you want for what’s at hand? Or are you always more focused in your reading choices? If so, do you have a varied reading list? Any strategies for mixing things up?