Saturday, February 20, 2016

Discussion Post: "Rescuing" ARCs

As a blogger, I have had some experience with advanced reader's copies. I have won a few giveaways from publishers, I have been a part of a few blog tours, and I have quite a few generous blogger friends that have been nice enough to lend me their copies.

I have only formally requested an ARC two times, and, to be honest, it was when I still was trying to figure out the structure of my blog and it's content. These requests have not been successful (yet), but I'm hoping to request some in the future.

As you can see, there are several ways that a blogger can receive ARCs for review, even without requesting them directly from the publisher. I am not trying to say that bloggers have a right to ARCs (because we don't) nor am I trying to shove ARCs down blogger's throats and say "You should try and get these just to have ARCs!" That is not my point at all.

Out of all of these ways of receiving ARCs, there is one way that I have never seen mentioned on social media or blog posts (at least, to my knowledge). is through used book shops.

Jess over at Princessica of Books recently made a post about a blogger who had found an ARC of a book at a used book shop, and posted on a Twitter hashtag, offering this book up for trade if anyone was interested in it.

To clarify, ARCs should NEVER be sold. It is actually illegal to do so in any market. I do not condone the actions of this individual and I am not trying to challenge this statement in any way, shape or form. This post is a way for me to understand the conflict that is going on between different groups of people and their thinking behind their actions.

Jess' discussion focused on whether it was right to purchase an ARC if the proceeds went to charity. After reading her post, I began to wonder why bloggers would purchase an ARC from a second-hand store in the first place. After all, not for sale means not for sale, right? 

But it dawned on me that I could clearly see both sides to this story. In order to demonstrate this, here is an example.

You walk into a second-hand store like Goodwill or Salvation Army. As you look in the book section, you notice an ARC of *insert books here* peeking out at the shelves. You pick it up, and you wonder if you should get it because it is a book that you would be interested in reading OR you need it for your collection! What do you do?

Person One: Put it back on the shelves and walk away, even if you need it for the one collection that you are going to finish. Never for sale means never for sale, ever.

Hopefully, you would bring it up to the store manager, and you would reach an agreement that this ARC would not be sold in the stores again. They understand, and take it off of the shelves, but you don't go home with it in your hands.

At least you know that you did the right thing.

Person Two: Immediately pick it up and go to the cash register. You might mention that technically this isn't for sale to the cashier, and tell them not to sell an ARC again, but by the end of the day you are still walking out with the ARC in your hand ready to go to a new home. After all, if it stayed in the store, it would still technically be "for sale" and it might never find a home as good as the one that you can provide it.

You keep telling yourself that you are "rescuing" an ARC from a retail store. Even though you know it's wrong, after you purchase it, it is officially out of circulation and not on the shelves anymore. It's not your fault for buying it because, if you didn't, someone that didn't know what an ARC was would buy it and continue to spread misinformation about it. At least now it is out of circulation, not for sale anymore, and in a nice home.

At least you know that you did the right thing.
Do you see the issue here? Both groups of individuals think that they did "the right thing" in this situation. But is there really a "right way" to be handling this situation?

An ARC that is still for sale can cause more stir than an ARC that was purchased by someone. I've seen instances of pretty famous bloggers posting that they found an ARC they needed to finish their collection in a used book store, and I have never seen anyone question their actions online about why they felt they needed to purchase it. Is it different story when you need that ARC for a collection of yours vs. seeing a random ARC in a store?

Can you justify purchasing an ARC as a blogger, even if you know that ARCs are never to be sold?

I don't have all of the answers to these questions, and maybe that's for the better. I'll leave it up to you guys to discuss with me in the comments.

Keep in mind that my comments are a no-judgement zone, and even if you have an unpopular opinion, you should be allowed to voice it here without ridicule. My blog is a safe space and anyone that threatens that safe space is not allowed here. You are allowed to disagree with each other but please voice these concerns respectfully!

Again, to clarify, ARCs should never be sold in any market. I'm asking the question below only to get an understanding of when bloggers/individuals can deem an action as "okay" or "acceptable", even if it might not be. I'm curious to see what you guys think and I'd love to have this discussion with you.

Is it "right" to "rescue" an ARC from a used book store?

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Thank you so much for taking the time to comment on our blog posts! I will always try and get back to each and every single one of your comments! Please feel free to leave suggestions for new books to review, as well as comments on the individual reviews themselves. Again, thank you so much for stopping by!