2019 Beat the Backlist

Welcome to the 2019 edition of the
Beat the Backlist reading challenge!

A new year, a new TBR pile, and a new set of readers tackling their backlist!

Welcome to Beat the Backlist (the 2019 edition)! This reading challenge dedicated to helping you knock those backlist books off your ever-growing to-read list.

Any genre, any format, any length. Any book published in 2018 or earlier is fair game.
Re-reads count. And you don’t have to own the book!

Quick Links

Guidelines  |  Sign Up!  |  Participants  |  Extra Fun 
Photo Challenge  |  Reading Challenge Bingo  |  Icons + Images  |  Questions
Hogwarts Mini Challenge  |  Current House Points  |  Submit Your Read Books

BTB Goodreads Group     Twitter     Facebook     Instagram     Tumblr



The book must have been published in 2018 or earlier to count. It can be in any format (including an ARC/eARC) as long as the release date is earlier than 2019.

You have to start and finish the book in 2019 to count it. Any books started in 2018 and finished in 2019 do not count. Any books started in 2019 and finish in 2020 also do not count.

The challenge runs from January 1, 2019 to December 31, 2019
(your local time)

Please keep in mind that while this reading challenge has several different community elements to it, reading through your TBR comes down to you! I wish you the best of luck!

What is a “backlist” book?

This is any book that has already been released. For the purposes of this challenge, this is any book published in 2018 or earlier. If you have books on your TBR from 2018 and before, then this is the challenge for you.

Do I have to own the book to count it?

Absolutely not! Your TBR isn’t restricted to what you own and neither is this challenge! Whether you own the book, borrowed from the library or a friend, or whatever the case may be, all books are welcome!

What counts as a “book” for this challenge?

Any novel, novella, graphic novel, manga, comic book, or anthology bind-up published BEFORE 2019 counts for this challenge. If it’s considered a book on Goodreads, it’s fair game! They can be in any format as well (print, eBook, audiobook, etc).

Magazines and articles do not count.

If you can’t find a book on Goodreads, use your best judgment (i.e. a short story would not count, but a novella/novel or bind-up of short stories would).

I started a book in 2018 and finished it in 2019. Does it count?

No. Only books started and finished in 2019 will count for this challenge but don’t let that stop you from finishing any books started prior to 2019!

Do re-reads of backlist books count?

Yes! As long as you started re-reading the book in 2019 it will count for the challenge. But remember, this challenge is about knocking books of your TBR so don’t forget about the books you haven’t read yet!

Do I HAVE to submit the books I read for points?

NO! If you want to join the challenge and simply read books, then you can totally do that! If you want to earn points for your Hogwarts House, then you can sign up for one of the houses and you’ll be able to submit the books you read for points starting in January.

What’s the difference between just doing the BTB challenge and joining the Hogwarts mini challenge?

If you choose to simply participate in Beat the Backlist and not join a Hogwarts house, all you have to do is read books! That’s it!

If you sign up for the Hogwarts House mini challenge, once you read a book, you’ll submit its title and author in a Google form. Each book submitted will earn your house points. You do not have to write a review or do any additional work beyond submitting the title and author. There is a place for a Goodreads or review link. These are COMPLETELY OPTIONAL and don’t have any impact.

Can I join or leave the Hogwarts House mini challenge later in the year?

Yes you can! Simply email me or fill out the form at the bottom of the page and let me know what your NAME/PSEUDONYM is and what change you would like to make (either leaving the mini challenge or joining)!


How to Join

POST your backlist TBR for the year somewhere online! This can be in the form of a blog post, instagram photo caption, Twitter thread, Goodreads shelf, YouTube video, whatever works for you! You are NOT locked into these books, it’s just something to get you started! Make sure to share a link to this page somewhere in your post so others can find the challenge!

SIGN UP using the form below! Sign-ups will stay open all year long so you can join at any time.

READ backlist books and knock them off your TBR!

SHARE your updates on social media!

Official Challenge Tags

#BeatTheBacklist     #BeatTheBacklist2019

Sign Up for Beat the Backlist 2019!

Form not appearing below? Click here.


Extra Fun!

This year I’m excited to have bloggers from the community joining in on the backlist fun! Each will be hosting a feature or activity connected to the challenge that you can join in on.

BookCrushin   Of Wonderland   The Reading Faery Blog


Hogwarts House Mini Challenge

Are you someone who needs a bit of extra motivation to reach your reading goals?

Part of the Beat the Backlist challenge is the Hogwarts House Mini Challenge! Participating in the house challenge is COMPLETELY OPTIONAL. You earn points for your House for every book you read for this challenge (books must be submitted through a Google Form in order to be counted).

House Points are calculated automatically every time a new book is submitted so you can see who’s in the lead at all times!

To participate in the mini challenge, select your preferred Hogwarts House when you sign up for the BTB challenge! Starting in January, you’ll be able to add every book you read to a Google Form that will calculate the points for you! You’ll just need the book’s title and author! Please remember that you are committing to submitting the books you read when you sign up for a Hogwarts House.

The only difference between reading on your own or joining a Hogwarts House is that being in a House will mean that you have to submit the title and author of the books you read in a Google Form. No review is required. It’s honor system!

Read More About the Hogwarts Mini Challenge

PLEASE NOTE: If you do NOT want to participate in the Hogwarts Mini Challenge but still want to send in your books read (OPTIONAL to include a link to your review), there is an OTHER option on the Submit Your Read Books form. But you are NOT required to submit anything if you don’t want to!

BTB Goodreads Group

If you enjoy chatting with your fellow book lovers, come join the official Beat the Backlist Goodreads group! Come January, there will be Common Rooms for each of the Hogwarts Houses (as part of the mini challenge) as well as general chat discussion threads. Cheer each other on, get book recommendations, and have fun!

Join the Beat the Backlist Goodreads Group

Of Wonderland Book Club

The lovely team at Of Wonderland hosts a monthly book club that is perfect for helping you decide what book to read next! Each month features a theme and discussions on Goodreads. If you’re looking for a little extra guidance this year with your reading and want to join in, make sure to check out their blog and Goodreads group below! The OW Book Club will also be hosting a group-wide Beat the Backlist challenge on Goodreads that you can join in on!

Of Wonderland Blog   OW Book Club on Goodreads

Post Series

Book Rewind Thursday is a current feature hosted by BookCrushin with the goal to review backlist books each week. Join Kelly and Christy each week by sharing your backlist book reviews on Thursdays!

BookCrushin Blog

Backlist Shelf Control is a new weekly feature coming to The Reading Faery in 2019 where, each week, you talk about a backlist book you’re excited to read and why you want to read it. These posts will run on Fridays.

The Reading Faery Blog


Photo Challenges

The Beat the Backlist Weekly Photo Challenge will run on Thursdays across all platforms. Follow the prompts posted on the NK instagram page (also on this page) each month and make sure to use the hashtag! You don’t have to have an instagram account to participate. Feel free to share on any media platform.

Though it’s not a specific BTB challenge, BookCrushin’s bloggers Kelly and Christy host the #SignedBookSundays photo challenge on instagram so go share your signed (backlist optional) books!


Weekly Photo Challenge

Join in each Thursday for the weekly photo challenge! Interpret the prompt however you wish and share your photo on your platform of choice! You do NOT have to use instagram, though it’s likely that most photos will be shared there.

Prompts for the ENTIRE YEAR will be available here throughout 2019 for those of you who would like to plan ahead!

Click for the larger image:

January  /  February  /  March  /  April  /  May  /  June
July  /  August  /  September October  /  November  /  December


Reading Challenge Bingo

I was asked by a few people if there would be a reading bingo card for Beat the Backlist this year and after doing a quick poll, put 2 bingo cards together for the 2019 challenge! A reminder that completing prompts on the bingo cards does not earn any extra points for the Hogwarts mini challenge. The bingo cards are just for fun; you can only earn points for each  backlist book you read.

Each book only counts for 1 prompt!

The EPIC bingo card includes ALL the prompts from the regular bingo (plus extras) so keep that in mind if you decide to do one or the other.

NOTE: There are multiple forms of the SAME bingo card for each in case you want to use one that suits your Hogwarts house. I have also included a black and white version for easier printing if you prefer to have a paper version.

Regular Bingo (24 prompts)

The Regular Bingo features 24 prompts that are as genre-neutral as possible so that everyone can use them. Feel free to try to get BINGO either horizontally, vertically, or diagonally. Or if you want a challenge, try to fill the entire board!

Download the Full Size Versions:

Epic BTB Bingo

And for those who REALLY want a challenge, there’s the Epic BTB Bingo. 80 prompts total featuring all sorts of prompts. I did try to keep them more general as well (for the most part) so that everyone could participate regardless of your reading preferences.

Download the Full Size Versions:




Check out the full list of participants below (updated automatically)! You can also see the breakdown by teams by clicking here.


Icons & Images

Want to declare yourself a Beat the Backlist reader? Feel free to use any of the images and icons below!

If you use any images, please link back to this page or my blog so other readers can join the challenge!!


(good for blog posts)


General Badges 

(good for sidebar, social media sharing, etc)


Challenge Icons 

(declare your Hogwarts House allegiance or general participation)
All have a transparent background



Have a question? Need clarification on part of the challenge? Having trouble with the forms?