Monday, December 28, 2020

The Backlist Reader Challenge 2021

I couldn't resist signing up for this reading challenge. I have so many books on my backlist that I want to read and this sounds like the perfect challenge to help me. It's hosted by The Bookwyrm's Hoard.

Here are the details...

Is your TBR pile threatening to topple over? Does your Goodreads to-read shelf have hundreds of books on it? Then join the club — or rather, the challenge!

I don’t know about you, but my Goodreads to-read shelf has over a thousand books on it, and that’s not counting the books on my “someday” list. Nearly half of them are already on my Kindle or sitting around the house on shelves and in piles; some others are library books I hope to borrow eventually.

The Backlist Reader Challenge (#BacklistReader) encourages us to read all those older books that have been piling up on our TBR piles or lists. And by “older,” I mean books that came out before 2020 (so, in 2019 or earlier.)

The challenge runs from January 1, 2021 through December 31, 2021. It ends at midnight in whatever timezone you’re in. You can still post reviews, and link them, up until January 5, 2022, but only for books you finished reading in 2021.

The Rules

Rule #1: To count for the challenge, books have to be published before 2020 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 2019 or earlier, it counts… regardless of format (ebook, print book, audiobook) and regardless how or where or when you acquired it. Library books totally count, as long as you had the book on your want-to-read list before you signed up for the challenge.

What does”TBR list” or “to-read” list” mean, exactly? It means whatever you use to keep track of the books you want to read. If that’s a shelf or a pile of physical books, great. If it’s the “to-read” shelf on Goodreads, also fine. If you keep a spreadsheet on your computer or a list in a notebook or a “for later” list in your library account, those work too. Just as long as you have something to keep track of what you want to read, but haven’t read yet. (In my experience, most book-lovers have a to-read list of some sort, somewhere.)

Do rereads count? Personally, I love rereading familiar books, and in any given year, at least a third of my reading is rereads. But back when I first created this challenge, the goal was to encourage myself to read books I hadn’t ever gotten around to reading. On the other hand, there are some books on my TBR list that I read a long time ago but want to reread, because I can barely remember them. So here’s the compromise I came up with: you can only 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 much about it.

Rule #2: Create a goals or sign-up post on your blog

…or wherever you usually post your reviews or your thoughts about a book (e.g., Goodreads, LibraryThing, Instagram, Facebook.) 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, 2021; after that, the sign-up link will be closed.

Rule #3 (optional): Review the books you read for the challenge, and post your links on the review linky

 After Jan. 1, 2021, I’ll post a page with the review linky widget and link it here; you’ll also be able to get to it from 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. If you don’t have a blog, you can post them on Goodreads or LibraryThing or even on your Facebook or Instagram. Please link to your review itself (not to your blog’s main page, your profile, or the book’s main Goodreads or LibraryThing page.) If you’re not sure how to find that link, email me and I’ll walk you through it.

Rule #4: Before January 5, 2022, 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, so you can share your achievement with others who are participating!

I'll be listing my books here...these are some of the books I'm hoping to read...

The Klepto Cat Mystery Series by Patricia Fry
Cat In the Stacks Mystery Series by Miranda James

There are other mystery series I want to catch up on and I'm hoping this challenge will help me.

I'll set a goal for myself of 12 books.  I'm going to try to read at least one book a month from my own shelf.

1.  Snowed In by Sarah Title (Click here to read my review.)

2.  Love at Last by Kate Kisset (Click here to read my review.)

3.  Death by Dumpling by Vivien Chien (Click here for my review.)

4.  Dim Sum of All Fears by Vivien Chien (Click here for my review.)

5.  Kitty Confidential by Molly Fitz (Click here for my review.)

6.  A Spell of Murder by Clea Simon (Click here for my review.)

7.  The Fiesta Burger Murder by Rosie A. Point (Click here to read my review.)

8.  Fool's Moon by Diane A.S. Stuckart (Click here to read my review.)

9. The Quiche and the Dead by Kirsten Weiss (Click here to read my review.)

10.Yours for Christmas by Susan Mallery (Click here to read my review.)

11. A Zen for Murder by Leighann Dobs (Click here to read my review.)

12.  Escape Claws by Linda Reilly (Click here to read my review.)


  1. I should join, I have 772 books on my to-read list. Most are from before 2019.

  2. I'm so glad you'll be reading backlist books with us this year!


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