The last thing I really need is more books. I know this, we all know this. But Half.com is a tempting, tempting place. It's like a giant bargain bin of used books people would rather sell for a bit of cash then get rid of -- my favorite kind of recycling! So I recently gave in and ordered two -- one was the 1st in a series because I already have the 2nd and didn't realize there was one that came before it (oops!) And the other was one that I recently found on GoodReads and was sucked in by its completely gorgeous cover (and the synopsis, but the cover is amazing, really).
Sooo, they both arrived today and I open the first package to see none other than an ARC! Isn't this like a huge no-no in the book world? Don't they say "NOT FOR SALE" in huge letters on the cover and/or spine for a reason? Not to mention that Half.com's listing policy explicitly states these books are not allowed, isn't the generally accepted way to deal with ARCs when one is done with them to pass them along to other reviewers/bloggers, not to try to make some money off them? I know some brick-and-mortar used bookstores do accept them for trade (after the book is actually published -- they are not trying to cause a frenzy by having an as-yet-unpublished version of a title sitting on their shelves). I don't know if this is really proper either, but at least in those cases a potential customer has it right in front of them and can see with their own two eyes what it is and decide for themselves.
So let's just say I wasn't happy. I love ARCs and as a book blogger I know the value of them in terms of how much they help promote a particular title, but I felt duped! I really did not want an uncorrected proof copy of a book that is almost 2 years old when I thought I was purchasing the real deal. And besides, I already have plenty of ARCs on my to-review pile! I've been shopping on Half.com since college and have bought more books on that site than I care to admit, but this was the first time this ever happened to me. So you can imagine how surprised I was to open the other package (from a completely different seller) to find, guess what? ANOTHER ARC!! Has this ever happened to anyone else? Or maybe this is just a sign I need to quit buying books? 'Cause I'm really starting to think it might be a sign.
When I am done with ARCs I don't want to keep, I pass them along to other bloggers through the ARCycling program. Publishers were nice enough to send me a free copy (usually through a Shelf-Awareness giveaway/request form) and I know I don't have a huge following, so I like the idea of that same copy getting reviewed by another blogger as well. I've read about people donating them to a teacher, school, prison, or charity and there might be other options out there, but I haven't really looked into them. So fellow book bloggers, what do you do with your ARCs?