Thursday, November 14, 2019

Discussion: The Old and the New


This Week’s Topic: The Old and the New


Every year, I pledge that I am going to read more shelf and backlist books, and every year, I read predominately new releases. Well, this year, I got serious about it.

Of the 374 books I have read so far, 118 were backlist books. My goal was 50/50, but as you can see, only about one-third of my books read were backlist. So, making progress, but not quite there. I really didn't make a dent in my backlist until I tried a few things to "make" myself read those shelf books.
  1. I created a feature called One Old, One New, where I paired an older book with a current year release. The books had something in common, such as author or topic or some characteristic. I have really been enjoying this feature, though sometimes, it's hard to find a mate for my new book. 
  2. I started participating in Carole's Books from the Backlog meme. I added this backlist book to my Can't-Wait Wednesday post, and I don't just feature the book, I commit to reading it. So far, I have read each and every one of my featured backlog books. 
I am proud of my progress, but I always worry about it negatively affecting my blogging. Let's face it, reviews don't get a lot of attention in general, but reviews for older books tend to get even less.

UNLESS, you find the *right* older book. I have found that hyped books, even older hyped books, are well received. I know, I like to read reviews of books I have already read, and when you feature a backlist book that was popular at some point, it can get a lot of attention. 

I also try to slip in an newly discovered oldie by featuring it with a new book. In fact, I hardly do any single reviews these days. If I feature more than one book at a time, someone is bound to be interested in at least one of them, right? 

My question is: What are you feelings on backlist books? Do you feature them heavily on your blogs? Are these books well received? Do you see any patterns in books that tend to do better than others?

Regardless of how these reviews do, I am still going to read my backlist books, because I have been finding so many wonderful books this way. My #ReadForGrace TBR was all backlist, and it yielded several 5-star rated books for me. 


Now it's your turn!

Thoughts on featuring older books? 
Let us know in the comments!

50 comments:

  1. I love reading backlist books and I mostly read that. But it is true, they don't get as many views. I don't review backlist books so much simply because I only post once a week and when I do post I need to post my reviews for my arcs. So there is that struggle. I actually want to feature more backlist books on my blog if I can. I think you have done pretty well because you have been reading more backlist titles and have made good progress!

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    1. I will feel compelled to write a full out review for a book I really loved, and I started only share the higher rated books on my blog (4 - 5 stars, unless a tour book). I know you do those short takes for almost every book you read in your monthly wrap up, and honestly, that enough to make me find out more about a book.

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    2. I am glad you find it to be enough and that makes me feel very relieved!

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    3. Some people are really good at conveying a lot via short reviews.

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  2. My goal for this year was to be more balanced in my reading. My plan was to split my reading into thirds with an equal amount of new review books, old review books, and books from my shelves. It hasn't quite worked out and I still seem to be mostly reading new books that I get for review.

    Books from the Backlog came about from a conversation with my daughter about how I wanted to focus on the books I already had instead of always looking for more. I have actually read some of the books that I feature and have found some real gems.

    I feel like some reviews do get more attention than others but I am okay with that. Everything I post is getting views and I think if I am having fun with it then that will come across in my post. I really don't look at stats all that often.

    Great post! I have been trying to think of my strategy for next year so this is the perfect time to start thinking about how those older neglected books will fit into everything.

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    1. I am not obsessed with stats, but I like to know that SOMEONE is reading what I put out there. I like to get some interaction, as that's a big reason why I blog. I used to have more interaction on Goodreads, but it seems people are moving to other platforms. I just can't keep up, but I like talking about books with other readers, and I do find that people are more likely to have a real discussion about a book they read or are hoping to read.

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  3. I've noticed that when I don't post daily, my reviews get a lot more views - it doesn't matter whether they are older or newer releases. I think it's impressive how many backlist books you've read this year. You should keep doing what you're doing because it's always good to shed light on older releases too. All books need love!

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    1. One thing I will say is that you feature a lot of major romance titles. Even if they are not being viewed right when you post, once the buzz builds, people will seek out reviews. I know I do, and I will get views on older posts once a book is released and a bit of hype develops for it. I think you are pretty well known and have build a good rep for supporting romances, especially those by AOCs, so I am not surprised you get a lot of views.

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  4. I don't focus on when I should put a review up or how it will be received. I'm not bothered by blog stats, number of comments etc. When I read a book, I review it when it suits me regardless of when it was published, how old it is etc. My blog is small so I don't expect a big fanfare on the stuff I post and I'm ok with that! Most of my books are backlog as I don't read ARC's or do much read for review for authors.

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    1. I wouldn't say I focus on stats, but I don't want to do a post that nobody would be interested in. I blog in order to interact with other readers. I get sad if I cannot get anyone to talk with me about my post. I like reading new releases, but because I didn't pleasure read for so many years, there are still a lot of backlist books I want to read. It's hard when you want to read every book. LOL.

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  5. According to my spreadsheet, I’ve only read two 2019 releases, so I love the backlist! I haven’t posted a review in months because they take tons of energy and get very few views. I’m trying to decide if I want to continue with backlist reviews or just stick to memes and discussions.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

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    1. Wow! Maybe you don't read a lot of new releases, but I think you do select books, that interest people. You are one of the reviewers that writes really well thought out reviews, whereas mine are more fangirl vomit. I can understand how your reviews take a lot more time. You should play with format. I have changed a lot of things to make what I do more pleasurable for myself.

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  6. I've really enjoyed reading your reviews for older books and have even added some to my TBR and I'm sure even read some. I haven't kept track though of my older books vs new books read this year. That'll be something I'll track this coming year out of curiosity now. I haven't really noticed a difference in response to my older books vs newer book reviews. But, I guess, they are all mostly hyped books, so there's that.

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    1. Awww, thanks! I usually add columns to my spreadsheet for challenges, and shelf-love was one I always try to do every year, therefore, I have a "source" column. NG and EW dominate, but I am happy to see the library and my shelf occupying more spaces, especially as of late. That's my other problem. I read some hyped books, but I also read a lot of books people told me they never heard of, and because I primarily read contemporaries, I feel they don't get hyped as much as YA fantasy books.

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  7. what is old to some may be new to others. there are so many books and they all need love. i just read and review what i want, not paying any attention to stats.
    sherry @ fundinmental

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    1. True. Many of the "old" books I feature are new to me. I like to go to the eLibrary, click the "no wait, no problem" option, and randomly select a book. I have discovered many great books this way. Then there is old release vs new release. I don't obsess about stats, my blog is too small for that, but I do want to feature books people would like to discuss a bit or would be interested in learning more about. It's no fun screaming into the void, you know?

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  8. Books from the Backlog is such a good idea. I've been trying to read more older books too, with, um, mixed success. You're right though, certain backlist books may get lots of attention, it definitely depends on the book/ genre/ how popular it was, probably, but many don't. Still, it feels good sometimes to review and examine the older ones even if only 3 people read the review. :)

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    1. I feel like if a book was hyped at any point, a lot of people probably read it, and therefore, even if it's an older book, you can get a lot of interaction on the post. Three people is better than zero. That's my biggest fear, that I feature such an old, obscure book, that nobody reads the post.

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  9. I'm usually so busy I don't pay attention to new releases as much, so mostly backlog for me. It's more satisfying getting to finish books that have been on your tbr for a while!

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    1. I agree. It is great to finally read that book, which seems like a TBR mainstay, and even better, if the book was fabulous.

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  10. I just checked my stats and over 60% of what I've read is backlist. But when I look at my reviews, most of them are new releases! It really is a balancing act, because like you said, backlist books don't often get the same amount of views that new ones do. I'm like you, I'm writing a lot more mini-reviews and pairings, and I've found that's a good way to incorporate old and new at the same time.

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    1. Good for you! I was hoping for 50/50 and your surpassed that. I don't tend to feature audiobooks, and that is probably where I do most of my backlist "reading", and I am trying to fix that. I feel like featuring multiple reviews in general gets more views, but they cannot be dissertations. They have to be mid length or short reviews, if you are going to ask people to read more than one. The good news is that I never write really long reviews. So, not a problem for me.

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  11. I've really enjoyed your Old/New feature. I don't mind reading reviews of backlist books at all. As long as a book looks intriguing, I'll read it, doesn't matter when it was published.

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    1. Well, thanks! I only feature reviews for books I really liked on the blog, and I would say, I think all the books I read are interesting to me in some way, but I still worry that I am alone in thinking that.

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  12. I LOVE backlist books! I love reading them, sharing them, and seeing them featured on other blogs, as well. Why should only the shiny, new releases get all the love? I’ve been focusing more and more on the books on my shelves instead of new releases over the past few years and it’s made me a happier reader. :)

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    1. True. Maybe I want to show love to older books, because I am getting older and am not shiny and new. Hmmm, this could be a really deep thing going on here. I have been happier just reading the type of books I love - contemporaries. I think a variety would serve me better as a blogger, but I find I have more higher rated books, when I stick to what I like best. And, we all have too many things to accomplish in our lives to be wasting time on books we don't like.

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  13. I feel like most of us are turning more to backlist books so they might become more popular int he future.

    I know I really concentrated on my older arc's that could be considered backlist at this point lol and I'm LOVING using the library but it's easier to get older books than newer ones.

    Karen @ For What It's worth

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    1. I feel like this is more of trend amongst us, ahem, mature bloggers. Yes, it is easier to get the older releases at the library. I often logon to the eLibrary and hit that "no wait, no problems" option. There will be some newer releases in there, but many are older books, which is fine by me, because I started pleasure reading again in 2013, and I missed a lot of good books.

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  14. I will *try* to feature backlist, but the truth is, I'm usually too tired. I have been sitting on a bunch of backlist "reviews" (in reality, a sentence or two of word vomit and a GIF) but I just have had no time! I want to, I really do! But I only read probably 10 a year (which is abysmal) and then it takes me eons to ever even say anything about them! So yeah that'd be one big fail from me on the backlist.

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    1. At lease you read some backlist, even if you do not feature them. You don't post as often as I do either. You do like 3 times a week? I post 6 days a week, so plenty of "space" for many reviews. I like you Reviews in a Minute. It's quality, not quantity, and you do a great job clearly explaining what you did and didn't like for each book.

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  15. "I am not obsessed with stats, but I like to know that SOMEONE is reading what I put out there. I like to get some interaction, as that's a big reason why I blog."

    That's the main problem, isn't it? Also, in my case, I would REALLY like to be able to convince at least a handful of my followers to read some older, neglected books that honestly are as great as the most hyped ones (sometimes even better), but getting people interested in them is HARD (though I have sporadically succeeded). New releases - and hyped ones, and ones that everybody but you seems to read/want to read, so why shouldn't you? - are getting all the attention, and I'm sure that most people are afraid to pick a book (especially an older one) whose only fault is not having a big publisher, or an "aggressive" one, behind.

    That been said, I review almost exclusively backlist books. Even when I read a new(ish) one, I tend to write an instant mini-review and save the full one for later...sometimes even a couple of years later (I know. YIKES). Unless it's an ARC (and those are rare with me). But oldies-but-goldies and underhyped books are the very reason why I started blogging, so I can't see myself stopping anytime soon 😉. Even if those posts get little traction.

    I think the "One Old, One New" feature is clever, if one feels like writing medium-sized reviews...which I don't LOL.

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    1. Pushing old books isn't easy, but I have heard so many benefits to it in many of these responses. You are among a few bloggers I follow, who write very in-depth reviews. I admire all the detail and care that goes into them, but my style is more hit-the-highlights (hey, I was an engineering major and took only one English class in college). It's always hard competing with the new and shiny, but you would think some people get as tired as I do seeing the same book on every blog at the same time.

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  16. Well done on getting so many backlist books read! I need to follow your example too.
    I did really well this year also using Carole's Books From The Backlog, until I came up against one I just really didn't fancy and let it derail my efforts.

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    1. Don't let one bad one keep you from trying. The beauty of backlog books has been that there are usually a ton of reviews for me to check out before I commit. Granted, I some of those backlog books were purchased, and I am stuck with them, but it doesn't mean I have to read them.

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  17. I love that you feature multiple books at once! I usually like or want to read most of them, but occasionally there's one I'm simply not interested it. It happens! I love seeing reviews for books I likely won't read, but that's because I like the discussion. I like seeing other people's opinions. I do like it when you pair an old book with a new one, because I think it brings it to people's attention in a subtle way, but also allows them to see something new and shiny. I worry about reviewing a lot of my older books as well, and have been trying to space them out with my newer reads, or add them to a Mini Reviews post so they have company. :)

    Lindsi @ Do You Dog-ear? 💬

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    1. Minis are great, and I see a lot of bloggers use them to feature multiple books at once. I like a few reviews at a time, but I have a limit to how many is too many. I can't handle that many books to think about at once. My hope is exactly what you said, that people will come for the new book, but check out the old book too. That's was an ulterior motive of mine, when I started One Old, One New

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  18. One of the goals I've set for 2020 is to work on my backlist books that are filling my shelves, and my Kindle. I only review ARCS {which I have some really oldies that need to be reviewed still}, so I don't have quite the same issue with the reviews. I just get distracted by all of the new, shiny books out there that I end up checking out the new stuff from the library and ignoring my shelves.

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    1. Featuring an old ARC is sort of the same thing. Most of the ARC reviews come out before the book. I know I always try to be within a month of release (before or after). I also will click many books from the library, but they tend to be older releases in my case, because I get most of the new releases I want as ARCs. There are a few pubs I am not as lucky with, but new releases are so hard to get at the library.

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  19. I love reading backlist books but I have found that they definitely don't get much attention so I've found myself either not reviewing them at all and just posting a few comments on Goodreads or else grouping a bunch of them together in one mini review post of backlist books. Those are usually pretty well received.

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    1. I don't feel the need to feature every book I read. As a matter of fact, I don't post every review for ARCs on my blog, I just provide a link in my weekly wrap-up. I want to feature books I really loved, and even if it's a backlist book, part of me really wants to give it that extra attention. Bundling reviews is definitely a good way to get more interaction, and even if the reader didn't come for all the books featured, they may like what they see.

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  20. Well I rarelt read "old" books anymore and that's a shame really but as you said the "hyped" old ones get more interest than totally unknown! That's also why I read these hyped old ones because I think that if everyone loved them probably I too will love them!

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    1. One of the "perks" of reading an older book is that there are, usually, a lot of reviews out there to help me make my decision regarding the book. I like having more information before I dedicate 5 - 6 hours of my time to it.

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  21. Alright imma answer these:
    What are you feelings on backlist books? - LOVE them but I need to find time for them.

    Do you feature them heavily on your blogs? - As of now, NO since I just came back to the blogging life again but who knows in the future. Maybe. Possibly.

    Are these books well received? - Some of them. Some honestly I think didn't deserve the hype but oh well.

    Do you see any patterns in books that tend to do better than others? - Idk what this means but I take it as some books really do tend to "seem" better than others depending on the hype or the reviewer if they're honest enough. Some books only sound like they're better because some reviews/feedback tend to be a bit bias. I've encountered a lot actually esp books by famous authors. I think this is just personal taste. Sometimes.


    Anyway, balancing out reading new and old books is actually a pretty neat idea. I might try this though so I can clean up my TBR and make room for new (whether recently released or not) ones.

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    1. Such interesting statement you made there about bias and famous authors. When I am the black sheep, who didn't enjoy a hyped book by a big author, I often wonder if people really liked it or if they are just going with the crowd. Hmmmmm

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  22. You read how many books? Damn, you are an inspiration to everyone and I am thoroughly impressed at the number of backlist books you've read. I had definitely noticed you reading more older books. Your feature of One Old One New has been great and I've defintiely found your reviews of older books has made me both want to read some of those books but you've made me want to do more to feature older books. I always find newer books are something I feel more motivated to review, usually because I've an ARC I need to post about. I want to make more of an effort to read and feature a mix of books, it's kind of why I still want to mention books I'm moving off of my shelf or DNFing on my blog because I was excited about them once.

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    1. I read, you go places with friends. I am trying with the backlist, and honestly, it's been great reading more of those older books. My newer books do tend to be ARCs, so I am such a ratio-ho, I have to read them, but I have been reviewing new releases I get from the library too. (BTW, new release = anything released in the current year for me.) Books from the Backlog has been a better motivator for me than shelf-love or beat the backlist was. I think one book per week is a reasonable ask for myself, and I have been sticking with that one backlist book per week. I don't like to feature books I didn't enjoy. I know a lot of people do that, but I would rather call attention to the things that made me happy.

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  23. My blog is mainly focus on backlist books. I don't bother keeping up with new releases and rarely get ARCs. Recently for each review I write I recommend a few backlist books that are similar to the book I review. Hopefully that will get people interested.

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    1. I actually like seeing what books people think are similar, though I am not very good at making those type of connections myself. It's awesome that you bring some attention to good backlist books.

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  24. I love backlist books and I'll never stop reading them but I wish I read more of them. I was going for more backlist than 2019 releases this year but I'm not quite there and probably won't make it... Sigh. People just keep releasing books! ;)

    As for older reviews, I like your approach of popping them in with more recent releases. I, however, just post them regardless. I blog completely for fun and don't worry so much about the increase in page views that a current or hyped book would likely bring but I think a lot of bloggers DO care about that and their reasons vary.

    It makes things simpler, I think... Reading what you want, when you want and posting whatever you want to. But, to each their own!

    (P.S - Your read count is insane! OMG, I have serious reading envy right now.)

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    1. I do blog for fun, but part of the fun is the interaction. I want people to be compelled to read the review, you know? I would say I read what I want and post what I want, but I still want to make choices, which yield the best of both worlds -- doing what I want and still drawing people in.

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