What’s the purpose of a backlog?

I come from a family of readers, I love books and so my shelves have always contained books that I hadn’t gotten around to reading yet. Over the years I added films, series, anime and games to the media I’d collected, but not consumed yet. For a while all I had was a wishlist, things to buy, there was no need to keep track of things I hadn’t gotten round to yet in a separate list. All I needed to do was look at my shelves.

So why did I start keeping track of these things? Well with the rise of streaming services like Crunchyroll & Netflix, not everything is on my shelves any more. And while these sites allow you to keep track of what you want to watch on each of them, that leaves it fractured. However the main reason I signed up for MyAnimeList, Backloggery and all those other sites is they allow me to share what I’m doing and plan to do with my friends. Especially those friends who can’t easily swing by and look at my shelves. They also allow me to add little notes on what I thought of them, notify me of related stuff etc. And in most cases, they give out achievements and badges for completing certain amounts or specifically themed shows/games. Yes, these badges and achievements are utterly pointless, but they’re also incredibly addictive!

PointlessAchievements

Okay, so I’m almost half way to Mystery lvl 2…

Still for all that I enjoy these websites, it can be overwhelming to look at these lists and see so many things you still want to do there. I’ve felt the urge to clear them, but just deleting them is never an option. After all, I own a lot of the stuff on them. I want to do these things! I really do, but it’s so much….

There are articles online on how to beat your backlogs. Heck, the Backloggery frames your list as the quest to defeat the demon of backlogs: Bak’laag. I’ve read several of them when the cleaning up mood struck. And so I went through the motions of:

  • prioritising the items on the lists them
  • promising myself to not buy/start a new game or book till I’d finished at least one other
  • telling myself to not start another game till I finished this one
  • etc

And inevitably I ended up feeling guilty whenever I added more to a backlog then I took off it. Because none of this works for me. 

And then it hit me, my backlogs aren’t todo lists. They can’t be, because unlike a todo list they are never ending. After all, as The Science of Discworld so elegantly proves, there’s Always Another Book. (And thus logically, one will never have enough shelf space.) The same goes for games and films/shows of course. Backlogs aren’t todo lists, they’re catalogues full of stuff that inspires or intrigues me. Or that just plain seems like fun. (I confess to buying several games because they promised giant pink teddy bears or pancakes as weapons. Sue me.)

s35724_nds_19

Sugar is bad for you kids.

My backlogs are simply a subset of my collections and wishlists. Stuff that I want to buy, stuff I have bought that sits on my shelves waiting for some love. Backlogs are things to dip in and out of when the mood strikes me and I’ll never, ever beat them. And I love that, because it means that when I want to experience something new, there’s always that lovely personalised catalogue to choose from. ❤

So what’s this blog going to be all about? And what’s with the name? Well, I choose the name because first of all I plan to remain the Queen of adding stuff to backlogs. But I also want to become the Queen of enjoying them. The one who looks at them and isn’t overwhelmed and rendered powerless, but who learns to live in harmony with them~ This is the journey I want to share with you all.

Right now I’m still in the early stages of setting up this new format. My initial thought was to mainly review things when I do get round to them. After all, part of how I grow my lists is from other people’s reviews, so I want to spread the joy. I also have some ideas for recurring posts, such as monthly additions to the lists and a list of monthly “meh” (things I did, but don’t care enough about to write a full review). Finally I’m planning to set myself challenges or themes for selecting things to do. I’ve already started my first challenge: Around The Disc In 41 Book, during which I’m going to read all the Discworld novels in order. The full post will go up on Friday, but I’ve already started reading. You can follow along on Twitter under #AroundTheDisc.

My various backlogs can be found here. I’ll probably do a series of introduction posts on them at some later point. Certainly I’ll reference them where relevant. Feel free to drop me a friend request on any of these websites!

So, what do you think? Do these ideas sound interesting to you? Have you got any suggestions for themes/challenges? Let me know in the comments.

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2 Responses to What’s the purpose of a backlog?

  1. Cat says:

    Love your perspective on the backlog and what it’s for, and I super agree with you.
    I’m excited to see you tackle your goals, good luck with it and have fun! ヽ(*⌒∇⌒*)ノ
    Have you tried googling some challenges? Like gaming challenges, reading challenges, and so on, usually they’re interesting to read and will inspire you at least! 👌

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