The Backlist Reader Challenge 2020: Rules & Sign-up

December 17, 2019 Challenges 27

The Backlist Reader Challenge 2020

The Backlist Reader Challenge 2020

Last year’s challenge was so successful — over 430 reviews! — that I decided to run it again this year.

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, 2020 through December 31, 2020. It ends at midnight in whatever timezone you’re in. You can still post reviews, and link them, up until January 5, 2020. (That’s 2 days more than last year. I realize people need a little more time to review and post the books they finished reading on Dec. 31.)


The Rules

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

Rule #1: To count for the challenge, books have to be published before 2019 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 2018 or earlier, it counts… regardless of format (ebook, print book, audiobook) and how you acquired it. ETA: Please note the change of date in the rule. I had it right in this paragraph, but said “before 2018” in the rule. It should have read “before 2019.”

What about rereads? I love rereading old favorites! But my goal when I first created this challenge was to encourage myself to read older books I had been wanting or intending to read, not to reread a lot of old favorites. On the other hand, there are some books I read a long time ago on my TBR list. So here’s the compromise I came up with: you can count a book you have read before IF (a) you haven’t read the book in the last 10 years, and (b) you can’t remember a lot of the details.

Rule #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 your 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, 2020; after that, the sign-up link will be closed.

Rule #3 (optional.) Review the books you read, and post the links on the review linky

 …which can be found here or via 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.)

Rule #4 (optional): Before Jan 5, create and link a wrap-up post

Let us know how you did! I’ll create a link-up post like this one for the wrap-up posts. Again, this part 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 (as long as they deliver to your country.)  The winner will be chosen from the review links at the end of the year, using a random number generator.

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 5, 2021, to give you a couple of days to review any books you finished on December 31. ETA: If you’ve been looking for the linky, I apologize. There were glitches on my blog as well as with the original link widget. It should now be up and working.

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

Go find those older titles you still haven’t gotten around to, and make 2020 the year you finally read them!


Grab the Button!

Copy and paste the code below into your post and/or sidebar:

<div align="center"><a href="https://bookwyrmshoard.com/challenges/the-backlist-reader-challenges-2020-rules-sign-up" target="_blank"><img border="0" src="https://secureservercdn.net/198.71.233.129/8nv.619.myftpupload.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/The-Backlist-Reader-Challenge-2020_B_350-px.jpg" alt="The Backlist Reader Challenge sign-up link"/></a></div>

Sign-Up Post Links

For sign-up links only! Please don’t post review links here. Use the review linky once it goes live.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

27 Responses to “The Backlist Reader Challenge 2020: Rules & Sign-up”

        • Lark_Bookwyrm

          I’m so sorry! The original linky wasn’t working for some reason, and the page didn’t post when it was supposed to anyway. I finally just created a new linky and published the page manually, so it should be open for business here. Let me know if you can’t see it. Things have been a little wonky since I switched to WordPress’s new Gutenberg editor. I need to set aside a day to spend tinkering and talking with tech support!

  1. Bev@My Reader's Block

    Lark, thanks for joining my Mount TBR Challenge. I’m going to jump in here on yours! I just wanted to double-check on the published date–above it says must be published pre-2018, but in your comment on Mount TBR you mentioned pre-2019. It probably won’t matter to me (most of my TBRs are vintage mysteries), but I wanted to post it correctly on my sign-up. One other question–can I count the two books I’ve already read this year or should I start from today? Thanks!

  2. Angel

    After taking a break, I am back doing a reading challenge or two, and I am doing this once more. Looking forward to it. Thank you for hosting, and look forward to see what others are reading as well.

    Happy reading.

    • Lark_Bookwyrm

      I’m sorry, Vi! The link is now up and live. I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to get the link page up and running. There was some sort of glitch with the original linky, plus the scheduling on my blog appears broken. I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to get the link page up and running. But it’s working now.

  1. New Year, New Waffles – Books and Waffles

    […] (Last count was around 90.) So I want to participate in the Backlist Reader Challenge hosted by Lark at The Bookwrym’s Hoard. I don’t have a set number of books I want to read—though based on past years of reading 90 […]

  2. Reading Plans for 2020 | Stray Thoughts

    […] The Backlist Reader Challenge is new to me this year. It encourages reading books on our want-to-read list, whether we already own them or not. The only caveat is they have to have been published before 2018 and be a book you’ve already been considering. Lark will give away a $15 Amazon or Book Depository gift certificate at the end of the year. Since most of the Mount TBR and Virtual Mount TBR books will qualify for this challenge, I’m going to aim for 30. […]