Discussion: Why I Like (Or At Least Don’t Hate) Stacking the Shelves Posts


Stacking the Shelves, In My Mailbox, Book Haul – whatever you want to call it, you probably know what post I’m talking about. You know, that post that some blogs do every week, some do every couple of weeks, some do never, the one where they showcase all the books they’ve recently bought, been gifted, gotten from the library, or gotten from a publisher (which seems to be the most controversial of the bunch). There’s been a lot of jealousy surrounding these posts lately, and seeing these posts always get me thinking and asking myself what I think about them.

If you’re a regular here, you probably already know that I never review ARCs. There are multiple reasons for that (the main reason being that I don’t think I’m a big enough blog to even try getting any ARCs, so it’s quite possible that I’m wrong), but it all means that my wrap-up posts (All the Books) only ever show off books I’ve recently bought or gotten from the library, so they’re all books that anyone can get, blogger or not. So, I think I’m a little more objective, and if not objective, then I’m definitely removed from the group of people who are privileged enough to receive ARCs and such. So, it seems like I would probably hate the posts showing them off, right?

Well, I actually don’t.

This is really surprising if you know me well – I can be a very jealous person, which isn’t a good trait to have, but one that I have anyway. I can get jealous of people for having things I want and simply don’t have, so seeing people that have things I want and truly can’t get (until they’re released anyway) seems like something that should get me really mad and jealous. Shouldn’t I be complaining that some bloggers get 5+ ARCs every week or two while I get none?

I’m not quite sure why I’m not that jealous, but I’m glad I’m not. I like seeing these posts, posts where I can see what books are coming out soon and what bloggers are excited about them before they even begin them. Some of these posts can be quite entertaining (Christina from A Reader of Fictions has a couple of book blogs that she’s done while drinking, so that’s fun to watch!), and it’s nice to often see these bloggers in videos because it makes them so much realer. I love the fact that many bloggers film their videos in front of crammed bookcases, and I spend much of the video looking in the background and trying to see how many books I can recognize.

Are there bloggers out there who use these posts to show off? I’m sure there are, although I’ve yet to see any. Are these posts unfair to the small bloggers who constantly get rejected for ARCs while the big bloggers have too many to ever get too? Quite possibly. But I think these posts can have a place in the blogging community – drumming up support for releases before they come out and giving readers and other bloggers a chance to get to know the blogger better if they do videos for these posts.

Looking at this post as I finish writing it, I feel like it’s quite disjointed, but that’s how I feel about this subject anyway. I don’t have any strong negative opinions about these kinds of posts, and I think that makes it easier for me to enjoy them. I don’t think these posts are the backbone of the blogging community or anything, but I would miss them if all bloggers stopped posting them.

What about you? Do you enjoy watching/reading these posts, or do they just make you jealous? Or do you just not bother reading them or not have an opinion about them?


12 thoughts on “Discussion: Why I Like (Or At Least Don’t Hate) Stacking the Shelves Posts

  1. I think you make a fantastic point here- I enjoy seeing what other bloggers have obtained and what I can look forward to them posting about and reviewing in the future. Yet it can be disheartening for smaller blogs to constantly get rejected from ARCs when many large blogs have some they cannot get to in time. It would be nice to see a wider distribution of ARCS from publishers, but nevertheless the posts are fun to look at!

    1. I think the main reason that doesn’t bother me is because I’ve never tried to get ARCs. I know I’m probably too small to get them in the first place, but I’m still in a position where I can optimistically think that I actually could if I tried and therefore less likely to get jealous – although I can definitely see why many smaller, and even bigger, bloggers can feel a bit frustrated, especially when some bloggers get so many books that they couldn’t read them all.

  2. I LOVE those blog posts/vlogs. Sure, I do get a sting sometimes when I see one of those bloggers with a book I can’t wait to read, but I’m also very happy for them they got an ARC. It’s not a mean type of jealousy and I think we all have it. I just enjoy seeing what reviews I can expect on their blog. And when they vlog, it’s fun to see them in real life and hear their voice. It makes them feel even more like friends 🙂

    1. Yeah, I think it’s an innocent, still-happy-for-you kind of jealousy. At first I didn’t like vlogs, but they’ve grown on me – especially when the bloggers decide to do them drunk! Even if they’re sober, though, it does make them feel more real and friend-like!

  3. I usually skip right over them but that’s mostly because my TBR list is constantly growing because even without these posts, I keep coming across a lot of great titles on blogs. If I hadn’t started book blogging, then these posts probably would’ve appeal a lot more to me because I used to pick books up randomly and scour GR for books. Now I’m just overwhelmed. But I do open them up once in a while just to see if I missed out on anything. Those posts where bloggers highlight the books that will be released in the coming month are pretty helpful too.

    1. That’s a good point – I know way more books than I did in my pre-blogging days, so many of the books I see in these posts are ones I already know at least a little about from many different blogs. I definitely enjoy these videos more for the personality of the bloggers than to discover new books!

  4. I don’t mind them, but I have to admit that I don’t read them very often. But not because of jealousy! I love looking at pictures of books and fangirling about new releases, even if I’m not going to get ARCs of them. I just don’t usually find that I have a whole lot to say about those posts in a comment. So while I might quickly glance at a Stacking the Shelves post, I’d much rather read a discussion or feature post, because I just usually find them more interesting in general. But sometimes I’ll get in the mood for some book hauls and check out BookTube or read some posts. I guess it just depends on how much time I have to read blogs in a certain week.

    Great topic 🙂 I do think that jealousy is a big issue in the book blogger world, and there are people out there who get annoyed at book haul-type posts. But that’s just kinda dumb…I like them! I don’t really get jealous about that kind of stuff…it’s more just like excitement for the books in general, at least for me.

    1. I didn’t even think of that, but you’re totally right – if you do comment on Stacking the Shelves posts, you can only really say “Great books, I can’t wait to read them!” or “Ooh, I got that, too, I’m so excited!” – definitely not great fodder for comments. I need to try and comment more, so that’s probably a reason I didn’t even think of that.

      Unfortunately, jealousy is a problem pretty much everywhere. It’d be great if excitement was everyone’s default reaction, but that’s probably something that’s wrong with our society and not that easily fixed. But we can still try! 😀

  5. I’m pretty variable in my feelings towards these posts. If it’s a blogger I follow closely, I’m probably interested in what they’re going to be reading soon. If I don’t follow them closely, then I’m more apathetic to what books they do or not have.

    Most of the blogs I follow who do Stacking the Shelves don’t seem to have a ton of ARCs/publisher books. I suppose if someone did, however, my main concern would be whether they’re able to read all those ARCs. I do occasionally see people who appear to get 20 ARCs each week and it can seem unfair, in the sense that there’s no way anyone can read that many books. I’d like to see ARCs distributed to people who can review them.

    That said, I know some bloggers do Stacking the Shelves precisely to showcase ARCs, because they know they might not be able to read them, or won’t be able to read them anytime soon. It’s their way of giving the book/author/publisher at least a little bit of publicity if they can’t do a review.

    1. The distribution of ARCs can certainly be frustrating, and the fact that Stacking the Shelves posts showcase this makes these kinds of posts even more difficult to decide whether they’re good or not. I live in the US, but I know that international bloggers tend to have more trouble getting ARCs, which is yet another problem.

      That being said, I still enjoy watching these posts – I just wish they reflected a more diverse distribution of ARCs and such.

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