NetGalley and Edelweiss call people like me "Professional readers".
NetGalley, Edelweiss, and Blogging for Books are book portals where international publishers place books up for review before the actual publication date. What is then a Professional Reader in this context? They include booksellers, librarians, media, bloggers, reviewers (like myself) and educators. There is a bit of a process to go through before being approved to download a book to read but once this is done the process is quite straightforward. The books are in ebook format (epub, mobi, Adobe Digital Edition), and after approval are immediately available for download (via Amazon Whispersync for the mobis).
In the beginning I also explored other venues book-reviewing-wise, i.e., directly asking the publishers for advanced copies for book reviewing purposes. Recently I just don’t have to this anymore. Nowadays the publishers, without prompting, send me the books for reviewing. This has good and bad things about it. A good thing is that one does not need to take time away from reading to ask for books. Bad side-wise I sometimes receive digital galleys I don’t really want to read. But at the end of the day this proves to be a bit of a misnomer, because most times I discover books (and authors) which otherwise I wouldn’t have a chance to read. Another downside is that I just don’t have physical time to read all the books sent to me anymore. Alas, nothing is perfect…Just finding my own silver lining in everything is my motto.
This is a great way to become aware of titles I may not have been exposed to otherwise.