Wandering Thoughts: 6 Reasons Why We Should Not Ignore Backlist Titles

Image: Kaboompics

Wandering Thoughts is where I let my mind stray, think and talk about non-routine things. This is an avenue for bookish personal stories, fun posts, musings and discussions.

When books are already way past their publication dates, book people seem to overlook them. Most bookish sites and book blogs I see tend to highlight more on what’s upcoming or what’s new and shiny. This is evidenced by the blogosphere’ s abundance of “most anticipated releases” list for the year or for this month or for this season, etc. Everyone has their heart eyes and grabby hands on those can’t-wait-to-be-released titles. Me, you and the book blogger next to you covet those advanced review copies (ARCs). We happy-click on request buttons on Netgalley and Edelweiss even as our TBR pile starts collapsing behind our backs. Plus, we rarely post reviews for backlist titles.

I don’t understand why we are like this, what’s with our obsession for obtaining more when we can barely manage with reading what we have. All I know is it doesn’t exactly feel right to leave these book babies unread collecting dust bunnies on our shelves. I want to remedy this and I want everybody who will see this post to be convinced that BACKLIST TITLES ARE BOOKS, TOO (maybe I should go extra and put this on a t-shirt). So if you need to help in cutting back all the pre-ordering or sending review requests and focus more on picking up those backlist titles, I got you covered. Here are the reasons why you (and me) should not ignore all the books already published/already owned:

  1. Because your TBR pile will love you for it.
    You created it, go hug that beautiful monster of books. Do not be surprised if it starts to hug you back and give you little kisses. Gosh, it has taken a life of its own without you knowing! But seriously, your TBR pile has already become a huge blob of gray because of neglect. All it needs is a little dusting, attention and reading and it will feel loved again.

  2. Because for once, you will be able to stick to your book buying ban
    I know it’s VERY hard to keep with a self-imposed book buying ban. You break it as soon as you said it. You know what might keep you through with this: think of reason # 1. And then think of your wallet also thanking, hugging and kissing you for not abusing it so much.

  3. Because you can help backlist titles in local bookstores find their forever home
    True story: the main inspiration for this post is from a recent trip to a local book store. I saw backlist titles with a lot of unsold copies on display and I suddenly imagined them as poor kitties in a shelter devoid of care and personal touch of a loving owner. What can we do to help? Go read your backlist titles, review and promote them as much as you do with front list titles.

  4. Because it gives you an opportunity to practice your skills in writing reviews
    Warning: following statements are loaded with sweet lemoning non-sense which you may or may not choose to agree. So here’s the thing, if you are a.) new in the book blogging biz or b.) you are not a superstar book blogger with stellar stats and huge following (I belong in this category), chances are you do not get approved for review requests all the time. BUT DO NOT FRET! All hope is not lost because we can still blog and yell about books even if we are not big-time book bloggers. No one is stopping us from reviewing backlist titles, right? For new book bloggers, it’s a perfect opportunity to practice writing reviews. I am speaking from experience here. I started this blog with reviewing backlist titles and I can attest that doing so not only provided me with lots of practice but also gave me a perspective that is far away from the sway and hype of recently released books. Lots of practice let me find my own style/s of reviewing. And being far away from the pub date hype helped me establish my balanced and unbiased outlook when it comes to writing reviews.

  5. Because you can read at your own pace and post reviews at a more leisure time
    One of the downsides of receiving an ARC is that you are somewhat restricted on when you should finish reading it. It’s an advanced review copy for a reason. Most publishers prefer book bloggers to post a review before the publication date or at least within the month of the publication date. Blog tours are almost the same, you are assigned a specific date for your review post to be up. But you can do away with these deadlines when it comes to reading and writing a review for a backlist title. Now, who’s up for a more relaxed reading experience?

  6. Because there are backlist reading challenges out there and you should totally join
    Actually, I am aware of only one -- #RockMyTBR Reading Challenge hosted by Sarah of The YA Book Traveler -- but for sure there are other challenges similar to this. I joined #RockMyTBR last year but miserably failed on the one backlist book per month requirement. I still had fun though because I got to interact with fellow readers. I even experienced my first ever buddy read! I took a break on doing reading challenges this year but I think I will join #RockMyTBR again next year.
Talk to me, bookish wanderers! Do you review backlist titles in your blog? If not, have I convinced you to do it now? Will you pay more attention to the books already piled on your TBR? Do you agree with all my book blogger sweet lemoning talk? Do you have anything more to add to my reasons on why we should not ignore backlist titles? BTW, I want to prove it to myself that this is not just cheap talk so I will start reviewing backlist titles again more often. Stay tuned.

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