One thing that I noticed in the blogging community is that we post so much about ARCs or new releases. I myself tend to post reviews of newer books rather than older ones, because I anticipate that they will be more popular and have better stats. And, well, there’s just something exciting about reading a book that is hot off the press.
Then I thought about it: Why is there this preference for newer books? Are older books any less interesting, less relevant, or less good compared to newer ones? Why would publication date affect the quality of the fiction?
Today I want to give credit to the oldies, whether they are 5 years old or 50 years old. Here are some of the reasons why we should still read them:
1. Oldies stand the test of time.
With so many books published nowadays, books become popular and are then forgotten. If 5, 15, or 57 years later, people are still talking about a book (like Harry Potter, or Gone Girl, or Quiet: The Power of Introverts, or To Kill a Mockingbird), then you know it is good.
2. Oldies are still relevant.
Maybe older books don’t have stunning illustrations. Maybe people communicated by phone call rather than by text. Maybe cell phone apps weren’t a thing. But I believe that there are some themes in literature that are still as relevant today as they were years ago: Like overcoming fears, or pursuing a dream, or finding love.
3. Oldies teleport us back in time.
Have you ever wondered what it’s like back then, when people still read the newspaper, and there was no social media? The thing is that we can’t physically leap back in time, but reading an older book might give us a glimpse of how life was like back then.
4. Oldies might make an interesting case study.
Of course, there are some less pleasant aspects of older books: Maybe women were expected to do certain jobs, or stay home and take care of children. Maybe there are characters who are racist, or sexist, or homophobic. Although we might not agree, it might be an interesting glance at how people thought back then.
5. Oldies are cheaper.
Unless it is an ARC, we likely have to buy new releases at full price. When we are looking for an older book, chances are, we’ll be able to find it at your local library, a used bookstore, or a thrift store.