New Releases or Backlist Books: Shiny vs Dusty?

Eeeek hey lovelies! I’m actually writing this post in April..I know look at me xD Anyway it’s something I’ve realised I’ve wanted to discuss for a while now. Being in the book community is an amazing thing, we connect with people all over the world who at the core share that one thing with us – a love of books. Our reading tastes may differ but we love reading.

A downside to BookTubers, BookBlogging and so on is you get swept into that hype. I mean…when a book is hyped you end up knowing; it even without being a BookTuber or blogger. Being one of them often, shoves you into the middle of the chaos. Since there are undoubtedly hundreds of books being released each year, we pick wisely which ones to read or not because shiny new covers.

Point is the books from last year we didn’t get to? Yeah those ones *chuckles* say hi to the skeletons on your bookcase. Today I’m discussing the love I have for both new and old books. As well as why it’s important, to not just read the new shiny books.


Now since joining the Beat The Backlist reading challenge I’ve noticed several things…I manage to mispell ‘challenege’ (apparently it’s in need of an extra ‘e’), I read a lot of backlist titles…I’ve yet to pick up any 2018 releases.

Please be seated, I know its alarming that I’ve not yet read Cruel Prince by Holly Black or anything else. But I have various reasons for this. The main one being I don’t read ARCs, I don’t read eARCs at the moment either. So ya girl tends to chug away at other books, she’s been saying she’ll read, since the dawn of time. The thing is though I think a lot of other bloggers and I suppose BookTubers, feel under pressure to constantly read the new releases. It’s great and all, supporting new authors, reading the  new releases, what about that book you said you’d read last year? Or the one you put on your TBR in 2014?

green and pink hearts

Here’s the deal. Backlist titles whilst sometimes, lack the diverse rep we have now, can need a bit of editing in some cases, for the most part they’re these gems that get dusty. See new releases are great, because they’re new but hate to burst anyone’s bubble here, they’re not actually ‘new’ as such. The ideas used in them will have been used before. The tropes are recycled again and again. Certain stereotypes remain in place even now. The only difference between new and old is one’s been published THIS year and the other was published in like 2012.

That’s not to say new releases are bad – it’s just that when you read a lot – you’re looking for a fresh way of something being portrayed. A new spin on an old tale, a pick ‘n’ mix of ideas that have been shaped into a unique book. I think one of the best things about a lot of new releases these days is the diversity we’re getting in them, the representation of so many minorities, is going up. It’s an invaluable thing to have, as no two people are the same. No two white girls are the same neither are two black girls – just because they’re the same colour – doesn’t mean they’re the same. It doesn’t mean they’re from the same background, have the same beliefs, outlook on life, hold the same morals. 

Something I love about reading the new releases the year after though, is it’s all died down in the community for the most part. It’s a new year – more books are coming our way and so those who eat new releases are busy once more with the shiny new books. Whilst some of us chug away dusting the hidden gems, eating the books we’ve put off for years. We also sometimes find time to fit in the releases of last year, and the odd one or two new releases. 

green and pink hearts

If you read a ton of new releases – but only do it thinking that you HAVE to review them to get any views on your blog. It’s not true. You can read and review whatever you want – it’s YOUR blog after all. Also people can get tired of seeing tons of reviews for the same hyped books. It’s another reason I wait for the hype to die down. Then when you post a review for a previously hyped book 2 years later, people will be like ‘oh I remember that, wonder if they liked/disliked it like I did’ and they’ll most likely click to find out. At least that’s how I work. 

Yes I’m all for supporting new and upcoming authors, I truly am, and I’ll get round to their books eventually at my own pace. There are other ways to support them without reading their books and reviewing it – granted it’s not as helpful to them. As sales numbers determine if they sell another book but social media. If there are upcoming new releases you’re pumped for – shout about them! We’re pretty good at that, it can also help ease your crazy ARC pile if you just slow down.

For instance Queen of Air and Darkness the third book in the Dark Artifices series by Cassandra Clare isn’t out till December. If it’s a well known series, that many have loved, liked and you know the world really well. It’s also a series YOU yourself love/like then you could always do a post about your theories for that book. It’s another way of showing that author some love and spreading the word about the book. Whilst it may not directly help their sales, indirectly it does, it’s spreading the word about said book.


New releases, backlist books at the end of the day they’re still books, each with a story to tell. Some have been in this world longer than others, doesn’t make them any less great, it can make them harder to find unless you’re like me. I seem to just get attracted to backlist titles – it’s a talent clearly *chuckles*

What do you read more of? Backlist or New? Did you wish you read a more balanced selection of both or maybe more of the other? Or are you happy reading what you are? I know I’m happy with mostly reading backlist titles. Thanks for reading 🙂


24 thoughts on “New Releases or Backlist Books: Shiny vs Dusty?

  1. Lovely post! I’ll probably showcase it again in my end of month Bujo hehe 💕

    I’m relatively new to all of this.. so I tend to mostly go for backlist – just because it’s easier of access, on my shelves or translated in my language if I feel more for a « easier read ». However, I’ve gotten quite lot of review requests last month! The one im currently reading was published just this februrary, so farely new.. and shockingly barely anyone know of it ! (Heavenward / Olga gibbs) being my first fantasy, and im really liking that, i’ll probably end up screaming about it for a while 🙈 which is good for them though, eh?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Pretty much like me, I’ll read the odd one or two new releases but pretty much I work my way through backlist books.Glad you enjoyed it! 🙂


  2. I agree with all of your points here! Newer books are taking similar ideas to another book and giving it a fresh spin on things. I definitely get the pressure for reading newer releases though, since it feels like everyone around you is talking about it and you want to be IN the conversation and know what fellow book nerds are talking about.

    Honestly, though, I think I’ve put less pressure on myself now – I’m more selective with the ARCs I choose to read, so I’ve read maybe 2 releases this year? I think there might be 5 total by the time the summer is over. Certainly not as much as everyone else.

    Backlist books do deserve some love though! It’s always nice to see familiar titles making the rounds again because by then there is bound to be quite a few people who have read it already. Plus, more publicity for that book. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes I agree with you 🙂

      I don’t read ARCs really because I don’t read eBooks but I get that a lot of bookbloggers do feel under pressure to read the new releases because it feels like everyone is reading them

      Backlist books are great, I love them and I think it’s a shame that not everyone gets round to reading backlist books 🙂


  3. I actually have backed off on ARCs this year so now I’m split 50/50 leaning more to backlists!! It’s been fun reading books I’ve been meaning to read for years… I do find though that I need to thin my backlist and kick stuff where the series never ended or I’m just not interested anymore. It’s been a great year so far since I decided to be more proactive in what I read. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wooo go you! Yeah I know that feeling of needing to thin them out, on goodreads I tend to add backlist books without even realising it haha it’s like I’m drawn to them over the new releases xD

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I don’t read many new books because I don’t have the kind of money to purchase them all. And I love reading Backlist Books! There is no pressure, they are easily available and many a time a fandom that you can join! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • I hear ya, I’m lucky in that my library tends to get the new releases pretty quickly so I have that route to reading them. But yes, no pressure for backlist books I just love my backlist books and I love how easy they are to find (usually xD)

      Liked by 1 person

  5. You’re spot on. I have a number of books on my Kindle that I flick through with a wince, knowing they’ve been there far too long. And I WILL get around to them – in the meantime there’s these Netgalley arcs that need to be sorted… and so it goes. For what it’s worth, I am trying to cut down my arcs and get around to more of my backlist. So far with limited success… Thank you for a thought-provoking and interesting article!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. […] I only discovered the world of YA properly when I was 14. From 11 to around 14 I was devouring all things paranormal, and any random books that I thought looked interesting. As a kid, I loved Jacqueline Wilson, her books got me into writing in a way because I liked that they had a message in them. As a teenager I read books that sounded interesting, I didn’t have a clue about new releases and so most of the books I read were backlist books. (click here to read my post on backlist vs new releases) […]


  7. Chloe, I totally agree with you with this post. I’m still in the process of finding my medium on ARCS and older books. I’ve got a massive bookshelf with 80% if not more of unread books and I still find myself buying new, 2nd hand books AND borrowing from the library still!

    I do get caught up in the whole uproar about new books though, it frustrates me at times as my personal rule is I don’t normally read books that are a series until the entire set is released, as I can’t remember what happened in book 1 by the time book 2 is released, and with most books being released as of late are series, but I’m finding myself reading it anyway.

    I’m going to start doing goals eg one library book, 1 new release, 1 old book and go in that motion and hope to get more of my tbr (owned) read.

    Fantastic post Chloe.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ah thank you and I’m actually lucky in the fact I can remember what happened in previous books of the series of course…I’m needing to reread Throne of Glass because I can’t remember what happened properly in each book AND I need to read Tower of Dawn still haha.

      I think those goals sound great, hope you get through more of your owned TBR! 🙂


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