What If You Had To Trade For Every ARC?

June 13, 2015 Discussions 12

I had a random thought the other day: What would happen if for every ARC you wanted to read, you had to give up one book of your own?

It seems like everyone wants to get ARCs (me included!). So what if part of the criteria for getting any particular ARC was that you had to pick a book off your shelf at home, and trade it for the ARC?

No trading the ARC back for the book you gave away. And if you were just starting out, and therefore had no ARCs to trade for the new ARC, you’d have to trade away some possibly beloved book on your shelf. And you couldn’t buy a new copy. You could buy other books, but whatever book you traded for that ARC you could never own again.

Would you do it? I don’t know if I would. Or at least, I don’t know how often I would. I have a hard enough time giving up books, even if I didn’t like the book a lot to begin with. I’ve mentioned my hoarding tendencies before.

And what about if you did find a book you’re willing to part with. And you get that coveted ARC, and read it. And then realize it wasn’t worth the book you traded for it?

Would you start buying books you know you’ll hate, just to be able to trade them for an ARC? Would you be willing to trade for ARCs at all? And if people stopped being willing to trade their own books for ARCs, what would happen to the authors and publishers? What would they come up with instead of ARCs if no one would take them anymore?


I know, I know. My mind is a strange and twisted place. I think if I lived in a world like that, I’d trade for ARCs once or twice to start with. Use the books I know there is no hope of me reading ever again. And if the ARC I received made me wish I hadn’t traded in the first place, I’d trade that ARC for a different ARC. Until I ended up with only ARCs I wanted to keep. And then if I still had to have a particular new ARC, I’d go out and buy books I would never ever read. So I wouldn’t be upset somewhere down the road that I couldn’t own that book again.

What about you? Could you imagine living in a world like that? What would you do? Discuss! *grins*

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12 Responses to “What If You Had To Trade For Every ARC?”

  1. Lola

    Interesting question. I certainly think that buying books you don’t like, just to be able to trade them for ARC’s would be a possibility. I think I would mostly just not get ARC’s. I rather wait a bit longer than having to trade away a book I like. I might trade aways a few DNF’s or 2 star books, but beside that I would just wait for the release dates. Also the idea of trading away a book and then never being able to own that again is very frightening for some reason, I mean what if you DNF a book and might later return to it and love it, but then trade it awya and never have that chance. Great topic!
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    • SilvaraWilde

      *laughs* The only books I’ve ever DNF’d (at least up to right now, that I can think of), have been books I hated so much there’s no chance of my ever trying to read them again. So I’d totally use them to trade for ARCs. But I can see how the idea of never owning a certain book again would be frightening. It would certainly make me more careful about which books I let go.

    • SilvaraWilde

      I have been a book hoarder since I was a child. I didn’t even want to let my toddler books go as I aged out of them! *laughs* Welcome to the addiction?

  2. Elizabeth

    Since I don’t buy books this would be difficult for me only because I have very few to start with, but looking over at my 1 small bookcase I’ve had since childhood, there are about 10 pb that have been given to me that I haven’t read and probably never will, so I could do that. I also have 2 cookbooks and a few gift/coffee table books I would part with. I wouldn’t give up any of my childhood favorites or Christmas picture books. For book hoarders and those who like to buy the whole series, etc, this would be torture I’m sure.
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    • SilvaraWilde

      I’m too much of a book hoarder to have an easy time if this were real. *laughs* I’m fairly sure I’d end up buying books I know there’s no way I’d ever read. Mostly in genres that I have zero interest in, just to be sure I never have to worry about needing to own a book I traded away.

      I can’t imagine having only 1 bookcase of books! You must have some serious willpower (and or buy a lot of eBooks!). I have 11 bookcases for my books, not all are filled yet, but I’m sure by the end of the year I’ll have to go through and see how to re-organize so I have room for more books…

      • Elizabeth

        I don’t think it’s a matter of willpower, it’s just the way it is. I’ve always been a library user. When I was a kid my parents made sure to take me every week and I’d walk out with a pile up to my chin until I got smart enough to bring a bag. I bought some books for pleasure in college, but mostly at those swap stores. I read so much that even if I only bought paperbacks it would be about $50 a week. That’s $2500 a year, which is a vacation! And I’d never re-read any of them. So it’s just good old Yankee cheapness.
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        • SilvaraWilde

          I went to the library a lot as a kid and teenager. But anytime I ended up loving a book I’d borrowed, I then had to own it as well. *laughs* Years that I didn’t have a lot of money meant I didn’t buy many books if any, but I still buy more books than anything other than food. And before I started blogging, I’d re-read enough of them that I was always having to replace books that were falling apart.

          Now that I blog, I try to only keep the ones I could see myself actually re-reading. If I had the time to do so!

  3. jamie

    Being I always have more books that shelf space, swapping old ARCs is a great idea. If I think I will re read it I might keep it (or just go buy a finished copy. if I have no intention of reading again, the book needs to go elsewhere. Being an Arc, I can’t sell it or anything so it is either give it away, trade it for other books or throw it away. Trading it for something else I want is great. Living on a tight budget I cannot afford to buy a lot of books. Yet a small shipping charge to swap with a fellow blogger I can usually gather up.
    So if a books if 5 stars, I keep it. 4 stars is pending, 3 stars or less need a new home so swapping those are great. I even swap now on bookmooch.com and used to participate in Arcycling (wish is were still running) and YABook Exchange (again no longer running)
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    • SilvaraWilde

      For ARCs, I’m trying to only keep the ones I really loved. So if it got less than 4 stars, it goes into the pile of books I need to do a giveaway with. Some 4 star books will likely end up in that pile as well once I’ve replaced them with finished copies.

      I’ve been burned too many times over the years with gift swaps and various other exchanges. So I doubt I’d join an ARC swap unless I ‘knew’ the people involved. But it sounds like you’ve had fun with it!

  4. Cayt

    This is a really intriguing idea! I think I’d have no particular problem with trading to get ARCs, only because I have a ton of books in my house that I haven’t read. I own close to 800 books but nearly 400 of those are books I haven’t gotten around to reading. I want to read all of these books at some point but I’m not going to, I’m sure. It would be pretty easy for me to pick out some books to give up to get ARCs that I’m interested in. 🙂
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    • SilvaraWilde

      So far, I think you’re the only one who didn’t have issues somehow with this scenario! *laughs* I can’t imagine having 400 physical books that I haven’t read. eBooks yes, physical no. I’m finally down to about 25 on my physical TBR shelf, more than that would bug the crap out of me. Mostly because then I’d feel bad buying more books since I had so many already that I hadn’t read!

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