The Backlist Reader Challenge 2019: Rules and Sign-up

November 27, 2018 Challenges 51


The Backlist Reader Challenge 2019

The Backlist Reader Challenge (#BacklistReader) encourages you to read all those older books that have been piling up on your TBR pile or list—not just the books you already own, but also the books you’ve wanted to read for a long time but haven’t gotten around to yet.

The challenge runs from January 1, 2019 through December 31, 2019. It ends at midnight in whatever timezone you’re in.


The Rules

The rules are simple. Only (1) and (2) are mandatory. 

(1) To count for the challenge, books have to be published before 2018 AND already be on your TBR list or pile. In other words, you don’t have to own the book. If it was on your want-to-read list when you signed up for the challenge, and it came out in 2017 or earlier, it counts… regardless of format (ebook, print book, audiobook) and how you acquired it.

Last year, I was asked about rereads. You can only count a rereads if (a) you haven’t read the book in the last 10 years, and (b) you can’t remember any more of it than you would learn by reading the publisher’s blurb. In other words, it should feel new to you. I know this is subjective, but bear in mind, this isn’t a rereading challenge. (There are other challenges for that.)

(2) Create a goals or sign-up post on your blog or wherever you usually post your reviews (e.g., Goodreads, LibraryThing, Instagram.) Please link back to this post! Then link your sign-up post below, where you see the “Add your link” button. (Please link the actual goals/sign-up post, not your home page.)  You can set your own goal, and you can list the books you want to read this year, or leave it up to your mood at the time—as long as they are already on your TBR list when you sign up! You can sign up through December 1, 2019; after that, the sign-up link will be closed.

(3) Review the books you read, and post the links on the review linky (reachable through the top menu bar.) You can certainly do the challenge without writing reviews, but the review links are your entries for the year-end giveaway. Reviews don’t have to be long; a few sentences is fine. You can post them on Goodreads or LibraryThing if you don’t have a blog. Please link to your review itself (not to your blog;s main page, your profile, or the book’s Goodreads or LibraryThing page.)

(4) On or just after the end of the year, post a wrap-up post to let us know how you did! I’ll create a link-up post for the wrap-up posts, too. Again, this one isn’t absolutely necessary, but I hope you’ll do it anyway, just for the fun of looking back and seeing your accomplishment!


There will be at least one giveaway: a $15 Amazon gift certificate or up to that amount in books from Book Depository.  The winner will be chosen at random from the review links at the end of the year. I might throw the occasional Twitter party as well, but you don’t have to attend. All you really need to participate are two things:  a to-read list, and a way to sign up and link your reviews.

You can find the review linky on the top menu bar, with a link from the sidebar as well. The review linky will stay open through 11 p.m. EST on January 3, 2020, to give you a couple of days to review any books you finished on December 31.

Social media: Please use #BacklistReader on Twitter, Facebook, and anywhere else hashtags are useful!


Grab the Button! 


Copy and paste the code below into your blog post or sidebar.


Sign-Up Post Links

(Please don’t post review links here. Use the review linky.)

[inlinkz_linkup id=808057 mode=1]

51 Responses to “The Backlist Reader Challenge 2019: Rules and Sign-up”

  1. Ro

    I totally suck at just about any reading challenge, and this sounds like a really good one! My before 2018 pile is pretty massive, and I still keep adding to it!(lol) Hugs and Happy Thursday! RO

  2. Gayathri

    I mostly read backlists and there is just too many to ignore them. And I do rereads because I easily forget the plot and don’t even realize I have read the book earlier (yes that has happened too). I will be signing up!
    Gayathri recently posted…Book Review: Why not me?My Profile

  3. Jamie E.

    What if the book is part of a series and but you don’t have the entire series on your TBR? What I mean for this is I often only add the first book or whatever volume I want to read next to my TBR but in my head that meand from that book through all other volumes. Once I read that volume I add the next to my profile. Is that okay if the intention is there prior to new year, would they could or would I have to have all volumes officially on my to-read list?

    • Lark_Bookwyrm

      I do that too, sometimes: add the first book or the next one in the series, and continue adding one as I finish one. So I would say that yes, as long as your intention is to read the whole series, the rest of them are “on your list” even if they don’t appear there officially. (Of course, you could always add them to your official list, or as many of them as you’re likely to get to in the year!)

  4. Lark

    I should really do this one again. I have so many books sitting on my shelves that I haven’t read yet, not to mention my infinitely long To Read list! If I do decide to do a reading challenge next year, it’ll for sure be this one. 🙂

    • Lark_Bookwyrm

      You’ll be welcome, if you decide to join in! And you can sign up anytime through November 2019, so if you decide not to, and then change your mind, it won’t be too late.

  5. Rita @ View From the Books

    Ok, I’m hooked! This looks like so much fun. One year I made the announcement to join, but never followed through. But this time I’m in the mood for older books and lingering e-books on my kindles. Thanks Lark, for putting it together. I don’t use twitter and facebook is private for my family, so I guess I’ll just follow everyone from this blog 🙂

    • Lark_Bookwyrm

      That’s great, Rita! You don’t need Facebook or Twitter to participate in the challenge, just someplace to post your reviews… and they don’t have to be long, just a few sentences is fine. Your blog is the perfect place for that! If you post several reviews in one post (as I’ve seen you do at times), just link each one up separately so you get “credit” for them for the giveaway. What I mean is, put each book into the linky with its cover and the URL of the post.

  6. Vi @Inkvotary

    Are you still planning on using another linkup for the challenge next year? Or will you stay with the linky you are currently using? Thinking about doing this challenge next year.

    Best wishes

  7. Kimberly @ Caffeinated Reviewer

    Yay. I am in I managed 41 of 30 for 2018, although I only linked up about 20 of them. I always forget, but you kept me on target which is the whole point.

    Question books must be 2017 or earlier? Or did you mean 2018 or older? Just checking.

    • Lark_Bookwyrm

      Welcome! Library books are a good way to go. There’s no requirement that you own the books you read for the challenge, just that they be on your “want-to-read” list (or TBR list, or whatever you want to call it.)

  8. Rita @ View From the Books

    In case you were scratching your head about why I deleted my entry, then replaced it today, well Blogger crashed when I was on it and I lost all the work I’d done on it for over an hour. I tried the “undo” arrow but all that did was completely wipe out the empty post. So… I’m back and in this!

  9. Katiria Rodriguez

    I am all in I absolutely love this reading challenge plus I also have a huge pile of books on my tbr list and on my bookshelf that I really need to read and I think this reading challenge will help me finally read them. Thank you so much for sharing your awesome post.
    Katiria Rodriguez recently posted…The Backlist Reader Challenge 2019My Profile

  10. sjhigbee

    Really sorry… I was under the impression that I had already signed up for this Challenge! So I have already added a book. I have faar too many books stacked up on my TBR, so I hope to make a dent in it during the second half of the year…

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