I feel like I am constantly in this state where I want to be reading just new releases for the rest of my life (not that I would ever get caught up, but still) but then I remember all of the fantastic books that I planned on reading but never got to and suddenly I want to read backlist titles only.
This year, it’s been a surprisingly nice mixture of both new and old books and I couldn’t be happier! I feel like most of us probably really enjoy reading new releases so I won’t tell you guys why you should be doing that – instead, I’ll try to convince you to pick up more backlist titles!
The Price Tag
You might have noticed that I’ve been including links to online retailers in my reviews lately and by doing that, I quickly realized just how expensive new releases are – especially hardcovers! That price tag is often why I’ll try and wait for the paperback release of a book (if possible, sometimes I just NEED that new series and I’ll get it in hardcover).
Another thing I noticed is that the price for that brand new release often drops within a week by at least 5$ (for the hardcover) and keeping that in mind, just think about how much cheaper a book that was released a couple of years ago is! I know buying books can be expensive which is why we’ll wait a bit longer to actually purchase a book. Buying backlist titles will get you new books to read at a much cheaper price!
Speaking of cheaper prices! Often, you’ll be able to find a ton of backlist titles (and sometimes even newer releases) at used bookstores for a fraction of the price you would pay in the store! And while you may not have access to a physical used bookstore – try online retailers for used books!
I’ve gotten a bunch of backlist titles from used bookstores before and never had any problems with the condition they were in. If you want to make sure that they still look great on your shelves, go for ‘like new’ or ‘great condition’ when ordering the books. I’ve bought a ton of paperbacks in ‘great condition’ and they all looked absolutely fine to me!
You can even get hardcovers of backlist titles for super cheap! I found a hardcover of The Scorpio Races for just over 3€ last year! 3€ for a hardcover. Just let that sink in for a second!
If I were to take a look at my shelves right now, a maximum of 10% are hardcover copies and the other 90% are paperbacks. I love, love, love paperbacks! They are much easier to read because they aren’t as heavy, they won’t knock you out if fall on you and they are much easier to take around with you! Plus: they are cheaper.
Publishers often wait a year to release a book in paperback (or at least in the US as far as I’ve seen) but if you’re buying backlist titles you don’t have to worry about any of that as the books are already available in paperback! Hurray!
No Waiting Time
I feel like it’s no surprise to most of you guys that I love myself a good series, right? But the problem with all those newly released series is that you have to wait for the sequel and if the author was extra cruel, that waiting time can be horrible. Authors and their need to rip everything to pieces on the last pages of books. *shakes head*
But the beauty of reading backlist titles (especially if they are part of an already completed series) is that you don’t have to wait in absolute agony to find out what happens to your favorite characters! You can just pick up the next book right away (you have no idea how happy I was that I only read the Shades Of Magic trilogy RIGHT BEFORE the final book came out) and continue on reading!
With new titles there may not be a fandom yet – or maybe not a big one. But usually, with backlist titles, there are fan communities out there that you can join to talk about everything you felt while reading the book or to rant about annoying characters, etc!
Fandom has always been a big part of me growing up (and into my early 20s) and I can’t even tell you guys how much more fun reading would’ve been if I had known about bookish fandoms all those years ago! It took me long enough to discover that there were fandoms for tv shows and movies. Imagine all the fun I could’ve had!
Being In The Know
There are so many books and series out there that people seem to always talk about or that are referenced in other books and by reading those backlist titles you’ll finally be in the know too! You’ll finally know what everyone has been talking about for all those years (though you might also want to brace yourself for disappointment in case you end up not absolutely loving the thing everyone else loves *cough*HarryPotter*cough*)!
As someone who loves reading new books sometimes you’ll come across an author that you want to read more from and so you decide to (hesitantly, in my case) check out some of their earlier work. And then the most amazing thing happens: You fall utterly in love with that backlist title and read it four times within the span of 7 months and still can’t get enough of the book.
Yes, I am absolutely talking about Simon Vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda here. Can you believe how sad it would have been if I never decided to go back and give another book by Becky Albertalli a try after reading The Upside Of Unrequited??? I would have missed out on Simon! That would have been devastating!
So just keep that in mind when you’re browsing books trying to decide what you should get next! That backlist title you just put down might just become your new favorite!
Every Book Deserves Love
I feel like this is the most important reason for you guys to pick up backlist titles: every single book deserves some love and attention!
And believe me, I get that you want to read all of the new books and want to be able to join the conversations all over the book community and you should absolutely do that – but don’t forget about backlist titles! They are just as deserving of your love and attention as that shiny new book! 😉
How about you guys? Do you usually read mainly new releases or do you love reaching for backlist titles more? Do you have trouble keeping a good balance between reading newer and older books? Let me know in the comments below!