Q/A With Backlist Bookworms || SARC 2020 Collaboration Ft. Lili from Utopia State of Mind & Vicky from Vicky Again!

April was an amazing month for South Asian Reading Challenge because we got the opportunity to collaborate with Backlist Bookworms! And to sum up the great conversations and wholesomeness we have felt as part of this collaboration, we’re asking the hosts of the book club some quick questions.

Hi everyone, we’re the hosts of Backlist Bookworms Vicky and Lili! You may know of us from our blogs, Utopia State of Mind and Vicky Again! We are so excited to be collaborating with the South Asian Reading Challenge!

LILI from Utopia State of Mind
VICKY from Vicky Again!

1. Starting with a fun question, how did you come up with a name for this book club? Was it a quick thought or an extensive search for alliteration?

I love the alliteration with Bookworms, but I don’t think I initially planned it. I knew that I wanted the focus of the book club to be on books that were older releases that readers may have missed, which is how I came to the term Backlist. The alliteration must have been subconscious because I do love me a good alliteration, and I’ve always thought the term bookworm was especially cute.

2. If you had to explain how Backlist Bookworms functions in a quick line or two, what would you say?

The Backlist Bookworms is an online Twitter chat book club that focuses on reading older releases. In a fast paced reading community, where it’s easy to miss new releases, we believe it’s important to not only support new releases, but also older books as hidden gems, hyped favorites, or new adventures. 

3. Why did you wish to focus on backlist titles when setting up the idea for this book club? Did you have an increasing load of past-year books that you hoped to tackle?

We love new books and with the pace of book releases, it’s so easy to miss out on books. That’s why we decided to make an effort to focus on older releases from last year, and older! It allows us to hype underrated faves that we feel others may have missed, to listen to similar recommendations from readers, and to give us that extra push to bring titles that have fallen down our TBR to the top!

Lili: I know for me, I always have books that I didn’t get to from last year or even ARCs that I never got to, so the Backlist Bookworms is a great way to give myself opportunities to read them. There can be so much pressure, as a book blogger, to review upcoming books only or the newest releases, and I am glad the Backlist Bookworms reminds people of the older releases!

Vicky: When Lili asked me to join the team, this was actually one of the selling points for me! I have quite a lot of backlist books that are on my TBR (or that I own!) that get lost among new releases, and being part of Backlist Bookworms lets me actually tackle this, month by month! I can’t say that I’ve made a sizeable dent, but progress is progress!

4. Do you think some factors like hype around a book can make it difficult for a reader to pick it up sooner, which eventually means the famous backlist book remains unread for a long time?

Lili: I think so. I had heard so much about A Darker Shade of Magic, but I had never read it until we chose it for our book club. I was just so worried about how it would hold up, especially when some of my favorite people utterly loved it. That hype and fear it wouldn’t live up just had me subconsciously pushing it back and it fell out of my immediate TBR. For me, hype can work either way – it can make me so intrigued I pick it up immediately, or a little wary and then, in some cases, I don’t get to it for a really long time. 

Vicky: Definitely! Sometimes hype can make things easier to pick up, but other times it can make it harder. A lot of the times, I get scared hyped books are going to be disappointing, so I hold off on reading them until I’m really in the mood. It surely varies from reader to reader.

5. We would love for you to recommend some of your previous picks for Backlist Bookworms! Is there a specific South-Asian book or two you would like to highlight?

We haven’t been around a long time, so we have only read a handful of books and I can’t think of the last SARC book we read (I also, unfortunately, have not been keeping a list). But I loved when we read More Happy Than Not and were able to collaborate with the Latinx Book Club on Twitter. I also loved when we read Ash for its anniversary celebration! Some future SARC books I’d love to put in would be A Spark of White Fire because I need more people to read that series.

6. What are some backlist books you’re hoping to read soon? Extra happiness for our readers if you mention some with South-Asian representation!

We had picked When Dimple Met Rishi for our March book….before the world became even more uncertain, so I know after our collab we are thinking about picking that up again. I would also love to re-read A Spark of White Fire – especially since the last book of the trilogy is coming up this year!

7. There might be readers who wish to join this amazing book club right now. Would you guide them as to how they may become a part of Backlist Bookworms

You can find us on Twitter where you can find dates, current reads, and polls about what books to read next! Come join us!

And that’s a wrap! We can’t thank the Backlist Bookworms enough for choosing to create some amazing content as part of our collaboration and agreeing to let us host an interview. If you missed out our Twitter Chat & Social Media Takeover during the last week of April, follow us and the book club because we’ll keep posting some memorable recommendations.

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22 / she | a desi blogger who loves books and anything related to stories! focuses on south-asian representation in literature, a writer working on a hindu eschatology-based fantasy.

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