Every so often it occurs to me that there are more books than just the shiny new ones.
This is wild information and constantly astounding. I forget there are books published before, like, 2014 when I got super into reading YA and blogging. FANCY THAT. And, as a blogging community, we do tend to all talk about the new books. What’s just released. What’s coming up. What is shiniest. What ARCs we have. What cakes we ate for breakfast because cake is the new cereal.
(Ok I admit the last thing is off-topic but very important.)
Mostly I don’t think it’s a huge shame if I mostly new books. I have lots of good reasons! And I will slide my list covertly under the table to you because you asked so nicely.
- newer books are actually more readily available
- SO many titles go out of print so fast, and this is sad !! but what can one do
- if you’re low on funds —> getting the opportunity to review books for free is super helpful (and obviously this is only for new books!)
- having a blogosphere all excited about the most recent super cool release turns our community into a HUGE BOOK CLUB and this is fun!!
- look i want to celebrate new authors (imagine excitedly and nervously tumbling your work into the world to be met with dead silence?! noooo. here is some cake! and I will flail over you!!)
- new books are shiny and I’m a dragon so what more can I say
I also love reading newer books because they deal with current issues.
Yes lots of old books are timeless. But sometimes I pick up a title published in 2009 and am smacked in the face with really ableist gross language, problematic diversity rep, and tropes I’m 100000% done with (IMMORTAL HOT AGGRESSIVELY MACHO BOYFRIENDS…GO AWAY). The old tropes are existing fair — they weren’t tired back then. But YA has done wonderfully marvellous things with diversity now that it wasn’t doing 10 years ago. And hey…I want to read diverse books.
I want to read about sharp girls and books critiquing the social climate and I want #ownvoices narratives and disabled heroes and POC characters not to be the background people who die off. I don’t want to see Bury Your Gays. I absolutely DO want to read diverse romances and more books written by women.
None of this is to say that older stories are bad! Many are timeless gems. Many are invaluable.
But I do think I’m more drawn to newer books and I’m not ashamed about it. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ And if you don’t think cover art has also gotten 10000000 x better and I am 1000000% shallow enough to consider this a viable reason to buy new books — THEN I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO TELL YOU. Still not ashamed for this one, but probably should be tbh.
But here’s the thing: I want to read ALL THE BOOKS and I’m terrified of missing out on a good one: old or not.
So backlist books?! Yes. I still want to read you, even if I’m more drawn to the newer ones. Some I want to read because I’m terribly curious. Some I want to read because they used to be famous and missed that wild hype wave so, excuse me, I need to tagalong 10 years too late.
Now here let me introduce you to (1) backlist books I reeeally should’ve read by now and (2) backlist books I probably WON’T ever read!
Which is also part fo the Top Ten Tuesday prompt: backlist books I want to read! But, ya know, rebel me, I’m doing the inverse as well. I cannot be stopped. *
* I mean this is a blatant lie. I can be stopped if you give me left vs right directions because I will have to pause and consider this for like 2 minutes while staring at my hands. Also if you lay cupcakes about, I am forced to collect them. Ergo I CAN be stopped but please don’t tell my enemies.
psssst shout out if I’ve got anything on this list that I must ABSOLUTELY CHANGE MY MIND ABOUT AND READ (!!)