Backlist Book Challenge: Read Your Shelf

This challenge is a little different than my others because I can’t really suggest anything for this one. Since it’s a backlist reading challenge you’re going to be reading books off of your own bookshelf (or Kindle or audible library or wherever) that you already own!

I love this kind of challenge as I want to work through more of the books I currently own. I have so many I haven’t read and I want to fix that.

Now, this challenge doesn’t mean you can’t buy books (unless you want that to be part of it for yourself) but if you do and you read them, they don’t count toward this challenge.

Of course, this is all self-policed so I’ll just have to trust you on what you already owned. I put 24 prompts on the list that aren’t genre specific to try and keep it general.

I thought 12 books wouldn’t be enough but didn’t want to make the challenge too tough so I figured for two each month, spread out however you want throughout the year.

There are various TBR and backlist reading challenges out there and they’re all different. Some have less rules (these are easy rules) and some just say a certain number of books on your TBR.

I like both of those ways but I wanted to make it a little bit more of a challenge by including specific prompts to go by. Even if you just decide to read 24 from your TBR that don’t follow this, I would love to hear updates and how it goes for you.

This is a challenge I would like to do myself. I’m already doing a 23 in 23 (it’s not going well) so maybe I’ll try this one in 2024 since I already chose my 23 books (one of the rules for the challenge I joined).

There are no prizes here, just a congratulations from me (if you let me know how you do, if not, Congratulations anyway!) and a job well done of making a dent in your mountainous TBR.

Backlist reading challenge rules

  • Only books that you own prior to starting the challenge count
  • They must already be on your TBR
  • Books don’t count for more than one prompt, so it will need to be 24 different books
  • Nothing published in the current year is allowed
  • No ARCs that aren’t published yet (ARCs pre-current year are OK)
  • You can include physical books, audiobooks, and Kindle books as long as you had them before starting the challenge
  • Rereads don’t count

Backlist reading challenge

  • A book you’ve had for years and keep saying “I can’t wait to read this”
  • The highest rated book from your Goodreads TBR (that you own)
  • The lowest rated book from your Goodreads TBR (that you own)
  • A book over 500 pages
  • A book with a person on the cover
  • A book under 200 pages
  • A book from an author you’ve never read before
  • A book with an animal on the cover
  • A book that has a number in the title
  • A book set somewhere you’ve been
  • A book set somewhere you’ve never been
  • A book published before 2020
  • A book with a map in it (or some type of pictures in it)
  • A book published before 1990
  • A book set in the winter
  • A book set in the summer
  • A book that starts with M
  • A book set in the state (or country) where you live
  • A book published in your birth year
  • A book published in your birth month (before the current year)
  • A book someone recommended to you
  • A book given to you by someone
  • A book set somewhere you’ve always wanted to go
  • A book with a yellow cover

Have you done a backlist book challenge before? How did it go? Are you doing this one? Keep me updated on your progress!

Author: Megan Johnson

I'm Megan, a cheesehead at heart currently residing in the Sunshine State. You can probably find me reading, watching Forensic Files, or both.

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