Beat the Backlist Challenge 2019

I, like most bibliophiles, have a TBR list that never seems to end. For every book I read off it, it seems to becomes longer by 3 or 4 more! Between new releases, new-to-me authors that I now need to read everything from, and all of the books I see every day on Instagram, and Goodreads, and Amazon, and everywhere else, it is truly never-ending. Last year I joined in the #unreadshelfproject and made a conscious effort to read more new-to-me books and less books-I’ve-read-twelve-times. I actually did pretty okay, but I didn’t really touch my TBR shelf at all. So this year I am joining the Beat the Backlist Challenge hosted by NovelKnight!


This challenge appealed to me for several reasons, the first being they actually give goals and have several ways you can track your reads! They also have a Hogwarts House Mini Challenge where you can join your house and earn points for your team! The Goodreads group even has a tracker using the same system that the Goodreads Challenge uses, which makes it even easier for me to see how I am doing.

Let’s check out the details of this awesome challenge!

The Rules:

The rules for this challenge are actually very simple!

  1. The book must have a publishing date of 2018 or prior. The book can be in any format (physical copy, audiobook, eBook, eARC, ARC), as long as the original publishing date was before 2019.
  2. Rereads are welcome. This is a great chance to revisit some old favorites (something I def plan to do).
  3. You have to start and finish the book in 2019. This means that books you started in 2018 but finished this year don’t count, nor will anything that you start this year but don’t finish until next.
  4. The challenge runs from Jan 1, 2019 to Dec 31, 2019

That’s it! Super easy and straightforward.

To add another layer to this, you can actually officially sign up as part of the challenge and have your name added to the official participant list. This comes with one additional qualifier:

  • Post your backlist TBR for 2019 somewhere online, and then sign up!

You needn’t stick to your posted TBR (and we all know most of us won’t!) but it’s there to serve as a guideline and to fall back on when you are stuck for ideas! You will find my list at the bottom of this post!

There are lots of additional add-ons for this challenge, so let’s take a look!

Weekly Photo Prompts

I am an avid Bookstagrammer (aren’t we all these days? lol) and BTB has created prompts for the whole year! There is one prompt per week and they are divided by month! They are open to your own interpretation and offer a fun way to show off a current read, as well as possibly help you decide what to read next!

I already have some ideas for a bunch of these, and have the prompts logged in my social media planner! I am a big fan of photo prompts on Insta, so this was obviously one of the big selling points for this challenge.

Reading Bingo

BTB also offers Reading Bingo! I adore these types of challenges because it really helps guide me when I’m trying to find my next read, and encourages me to read books I might not have thought of otherwise! Some of these prompts will require me to step outside my comfort zone and stretch myself a bit.

There are 2 Bingo boards to choose from. The first has 24 prompts and is the smaller of the two. It comes in 6 different color options: Purple for the general reader, Red for Gryffindors, Yellow for Hufflepuff, Blue for Ravenclaw, Green for Slytherin, and a Black & White printable version.

BTB2019_Bingo_Reader purple

The second, larger, board has 80 prompts and comes in the same 6 color options! This is the board I chose because my 2019 reading goal is 150 and I felt that the smaller board was not going to force myself to stretch enough. It would have been too easy to finish off the board and call it quits, since it would equate for 1/6th of my total goal! 80 accounts for more than half, and will make me work a little harder!

BTB2019_EpicBingo3_Reader purple

I used the printer-friendly version and glued a copy of it into my 2019 Reading Journal (I use a Leuchtturm1917 gridded notebook). Since I keep a numbered list of my reads in my BoJo, I use a purple pen to write the book number on the appropriate square, and then color it in with a purple Zebra Midliner. Since I do read so many books, I wanted to log the numbers so I could check back and to hold myself more accountable. I have actually been able to check off 14 squares so far this year!

Hogwarts Mini Challenge

BTBIcon_GryffindorI touched upon it briefly already, but one of the most fun parts of this challenge (for me) is the Hogwarts Mini Challenge piece! For this part of the challenge you can join up with the house of your choice and your reads help earn points! The reporting is on an honor system and you do have to manually enter your reads, but once you do the points are added to your house’s tally and the scores are visible via this link here. You can also use one of the awesome house banners to declare your allegiance, which you can see to the left of this paragraph!

My 2019 Backlist TBR

  • Beyond a Darkened Shore – Jessica Leake (April 2018 FairyLoot book)
  • Fire & Heist – Sarah Beth Durst (December 2018 FairyLoot book)
  • Hunting Prince Dracula – Kerri Maniscalco
  • Even the Darkest Stars – Heather Fawcett (reread)
  • All the Wandering Light – Heather Fawcett
  • Once a King – Erin Summerill
  • The Nightingale – Kristin Hannah
  • Seeker – Arwen Elys Dayton
  • Traveler – Arwen Elys Dayton
  • Shiver – Maggie Stiefvater
  • Linger – Maggie Stiefvater
  • Forever – Maggie Stiefvater
  • Shatter Me – Taherah Mafi
  • Jackaby – William Ritter
  • The Light Between Oceans – M.L. Stedman
  • Retribution Rails – Erin Bowman
  • The Golem and the Jinni – Helene Wecker
  • The Fork, the Witch, and the Worm – Christopher Paolini
  • The Inheritance Cycle series – Christopher Paolini (all rereads)
  • Stormdancer – Jay Kristoff
  • Kinslayer – Jay Kristoff
  • Endsinger – Jay Kristoff
  • War Storm – Victoria Aveyard
  • The Traitor’s Kiss – Erin Beaty (reread)
  • The Traitor’s Ruin – Erin Beaty
  • Scythe – Neal Shusterman (reread)
  • Thunderhead – Neal Shusterman
  • This Shattered World – Amie Kaufman/Meagan Spooner
  • Their Fractured Light – Amie Kaufman/Meagan Spooner
  • Pride – Ibi Zoboi (October 2018 OwlCrate book)
  • Fawkes – Nadine Brandes
  • Renegades – Marissa Meyer (reread)
  • Archenemies – Marissa Meyer
  • Three Dark Crowns – Kendare Blake (reread)
  • One Dark Throne – Kendare Blake (reread)
  • Two Dark Reigns – Kendare Blake
  • Lady Midnight – Cassie Clare (reread)
  • Lord of Shadows – Cassie Clare (reread)
  • Queen of Air and Darkness – Cassie Clare
  • The Bear and the Nightingale – Katherine Arden
  • Watership Down – Richard Adams (reread)
  • The Gemma Doyle Trilogy – Libba Bray (all rereads)

You may have noticed a fair amount of rereads on my list, and that is primarily because I have soooo many unread sequels I want to get to. 99% of the time I need to reread a series before I can start the latest addition, and this sometimes stunts my ability to knock off my TBR books. BUT I plan to chip away steadily and hopefully the rereads will help stave off any book hangovers (rereading old faves is usually my go-to hangove cure). I also have a few books/series that I want to reread just because it has been a long time since I have revisited them.

It is also important to note that this list consists solely of books I already own in one form or another, and doesn’t include anything that I have on a TBR wish list. My main goal is to reduce the number of books on my TBR shelf before I let myself add more to it (we will see how that plays out).

There we have it! Are you doing any reading challenges this year? What are your 2019 reading goals? Share in the comments below!

Note: all graphics in this post are courtesy of NovelKnight and the 2019 Beat the Backlist Challenge!

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