E-Books and NetGalley

Three years or so ago I decided it was the time to take the big plunge, to go digital, to get that e-reader and stop wasting money, space, and trees on paper books. Back then there were two real options, the Kindle or the Sony 505. At that time both were virtually the same price, but the Kindle was back ordered for an unknown time. The Sony, on the other hand, was available at Walmart or Target. Both were spendy, but my parents were willing to invest at my say so for a Christmas gift. Since the Sony came into my life, I’ve bought only the occasional paper back, picture book, and gift book for others. Now, most of my adult fiction reading and some of my juvenile fiction reading happens in ebook format, either purchased or checked out from the library. Recently I added a Kindle to my electronic gadgets, and I discovered the amazing service that is NetGalley.

A little backstory as to why NetGalley is amazing to me. I work in a medium sized public library system, where purchasing is done by committees formed by the professional staff. Emphasis is placed on educational materials and works of literary value, especially with adult materials. I try to find good popular adult materials to sneak in, since the people purchasing in those areas are not big popular fiction readers. This year, I’m purchasing all of the easy readers for the system (5 locations), some of the juvenile non-fiction, with a special fund to purchase juvenile biographies, local fiction, and assisting with picture book purchasing. Since this is only my second year here, and third purchasing cycle, I have no special contacts with publishers to get news of new series and books of interest sent to me. NetGalley provides a shortcut to finding out about new books, and helping me figure out what is new. This is especially important since we only purchase books March to August, so I need to know what is coming out in the future, to try to book ahead. Though I should say that this blog is entirely unconnected to my library, and the opinions are my own, and not that of the institution that employs me, which shall remain anonymous.

I do wish there were more juvenile non-fiction and easy reader titles in NetGalley, but I have been pleased with the selection I’ve found. In particular, I love that I can load these books onto one of my readers and discover new books to add to the library’s collection and not have to clutter my house with ARCs. Though I did have a moment when I wanted to book talk a book I’d read as an egalley and we hadn’t purchased it yet, so I couldn’t take it to show it to the kids at the school.

I’m hoping that I can use this new blog to share some of the exciting books I’ve discovered through NetGalley. In addition, I’d welcome books sent from authors or publishers for review, please e-mail me at sarah.oscar.meya@gmail.com.


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