Why Old Books Deserve 340% More Attention From You

November 2, 2017 books, discussion 17

talk to me graphic reviews and cake

Talk to Me is an irregular discussion feature on this blog. It’s pretty much exactly what the title suggests: I’m going to tell you my opinion, and then I’m handing over to you, so you can let me know what you think in the comments.


Old books! Or should I say vintage books? Is that sexier? I haven’t even written the introduction and I’m already getting distracted, an autobiography by me. Let’s try this again. In the book blogging community we often focus on new releases. It makes sense – many bloggers (myself included) review ARCs, publishers push new releases, there’s a lot of hype around recent books and, most importantly, NEW STUFF IS SHINY. But what about older books? I’m not talking classics, which at least get some attention, but books from ten or twenty years ago (quick reminder, twenty years ago means 1997, what the hell). Do they really deserve less of our attention? Why do we forget about older books so easily?

My Opinion

Obviously it’s good to support new authors, and of course caring about newer books usually comes with the territory when you’re a book lover. HOWEVER, I used to not care about new releases that much. Don’t get me wrong, if a sequel to a book I loved was coming out, I wouldn’t rest until I had that sweet, sweet puppy in my hands, but I wasn’t generally always on the lookout for new releases. Since I started blogging, I’ve been reading a lot more recent releases, partly because I see other bloggers talk about them and my brain goes MUST.HAVE.BOOK. and partly because I’m reading ARCs. And that’s not a bad thing! I love being up to date (though I’m usually not, let’s be real) and it’s great to see what’s being published. Maybe that’s not you, and you’re reading just as many older books as new ones, but it’s certainly true for me.

However, recently I noticed that I’m not really talking about older books I love a lot. Do I think that less people will be interested and no one will care if I blog about them? Maybe! That might not necessarily be the case though – sometimes I notice that reviews of books that were talked a lot about 2-4 years ago (because apparently that’s how far behind I generally I am) get much more comments than reviews of ARCs because by the time I publish the review more people have read the book and are interested in my review. And the same goes for me – I’m much more likely to click on a review if it’s about a book I’ve already read.

If an older book was widely popular, it’s still going to be talked about today, but if it was fairly unknown, it’s more likely to vanish into obscurity. I know – a lot of newer books suffer the same fate; there’s just too little time to read everything. But I feel like a lot of the time it’s a bit of a status symbol to always have the newest releases and to be up to date on the books that literally just hit the market (I’m not excluding myself here) – but why do we care so much? A lot of people probably don’t even have access to them yet, depending on finances, librarians and international rights. I’m not arguing not to read new releases, but I’ll try to also read some older books I always wanted to read and never got around to – and when I do, I’ll talk about them here.

Your Turn!

Do you mostly read new releases or do you generally not care about when a book was released? If you’re a blogger, do you agree that being part of the book blogging community often means reading new releases? Is this topic just completely irrelevant to you and you’re wondering why you spent time reading this post? Let me know in the comments, unless it’s the last one, in which case just tell me a random unrelated compliment to make up for not caring about my post.

17 Responses to “Why Old Books Deserve 340% More Attention From You”

  1. Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight

    Hahha I liked your options for discussing this :) I agree completely, blogging definitely changed how I read. I used to read older books, mostly because I’d find them on sale and such. Not like, old-old books, but a couple years probably. Now though… I have read a few backlist books lately, but I won’t lie, I got them as ARCs- or pre-ordered a million years ago and then never got around to them. Oops? I ran out of ARCs I had to review though so I actually read a few older books, wheee!
    Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight recently posted…November New Release Giveaway Hop!My Profile

    • Vlora


      I’m glad no one’s chosen the last one so far haha! You ran out of ARCs? Go you! Yes, older books are definitely better for your budget – but then again ARCs are free, so there’s that. But it’s not like I could stop myself from buying books anyway, so I’m happy they’re usually not too expensive. :D
      Vlora recently posted…November Is for Writing NovelsMy Profile

  2. Madalyn @ Novel Ink

    Love this post! I definitely have noticed that since I started blogging, I devote most of my time to new/upcoming releases. It can be difficult not to get caught up in the hype, especially in years like this one when there’s so many fantastic new books coming out (ESPECIALLY especially when these new releases feature much-needed representation in YA). I’ve definitely been tackling more of my backlist TBR over the past few months, but I need to be better about actually writing reviews of the backlist books I read on my blog.
    Madalyn @ Novel Ink recently posted…Blog Tour: DEAR MARTIN by Nic Stone | Review + GiveawayMy Profile

    • Vlora


      It’s true! When I see other people review books that sound great, I obviously want to read them too, and often they just happen to be new releases. And obviously it’s nice to stay on top of things, but there are so many fantastic backlist books too. I’ll try to write more reviews for older books I read on the blog as well.
      Vlora recently posted…November Is for Writing NovelsMy Profile

  3. Kristen @ Metaphors and Moonlight

    I don’t tend to read many books from 15+ years ago, but, aside from that, I don’t pay that much attention to release dates. It’s just that, since I started blogging, I tend to read more new releases simply because that’s what I’m able to get review copies of, and I need review copies or I won’t be able to afford to read very much lol.
    Kristen @ Metaphors and Moonlight recently posted…Bookish Musings: I Want More Books about… Disability & Medical Needs in Post-Apoc WorldsMy Profile

    • Vlora


      Ha, that’s true, the cost factor definitely plays into it. I mean, I guess you can always go to the library, depending on your situation? I’m not good with return dates and reading books in a certain time span, so it doesn’t work that well for me, but I used to live at the library when I was still at school. But I agree that review copies are nice! I just noticed I’m not really writing a lot of reviews for the older books I read, so I’ll try to change that in the future.
      Vlora recently posted…November Is for Writing NovelsMy Profile

  4. Valerie

    Hahaha I think it depends for me? Like I don’t mind reading old, backlist books, or anything that I have on my shelf. I don’t usually write reviews for them, but I have been writing a lot of mini reviews lately. So those types of posts actually get me more views than reviews of ARCs (unless it’s a super hyped up release. Also I don’t really even check my views anymore, but I guess I would say number of comments). And I do read many more review copies only because there is kind of a “deadline” to review them? Not a strict one though haha.

    Great post Vlora!
    Valerie recently posted…Vote For These Books On Goodreads!My Profile

    • Vlora


      I can totally see why they would get more views/comments! I have no idea why I don’t review old books as much. I guess with ARCs there’s more of an obligation to do it. Ugh, don’t mention it, I still have ARCs from last year, because I got so busy with uni. I’m catching up now though. :D
      Vlora recently posted…November Is for Writing NovelsMy Profile

  5. Jolien

    Great post! When I first started blogging, I was reading a lot of new releases and ARCs, I think. Over the past year or so, I’ve dialed that down. I still read new releases, of course. When I’m really interested in them. But I make time to read the books I’ve had on my shelf for ages, and take my time just browsing random ones in the bookstore. I’m even taking more time to re-read old favorites. It makes me happy to talk about these ‘older’ books, and to show them some love again.
    Jolien recently posted…Review: When Dimple Met RishiMy Profile

    • Vlora


      Thanks, Jolien! I try to make sure I definitely want to read ARCs when I request them too. I’d rather read fewer of them and more backlist books I know I’ll probably enjoy than read a lot of ARCs that I’m not very enthusiastic about. But obviously new=shiny. I’m glad it makes you happy to talk about your older favorites, and I totally agree! I need to make time to read all the unread books on my shelves too. I don’t think I’ll need to buy any new books for the next two years haha (we’ll see how that goes).
      Vlora recently posted…November Is for Writing NovelsMy Profile

  6. Olivia Roach

    Love this topic! Personally, I am all for all reviews! I love ARC reviews because they keep me informed about upcoming new releases I might miss out on. I like the backlist books because well, I want to read many of them too and if I happen to have read them I can discuss with the blogger. But for my course (and by choice) I also read a lot of classics and I want to discuss them too.

    My personal review game is an absolute mess right now because I don’t feel like I have been dedicating as much time as I should to my blog and being well, organised to some extent. But I am going to be including in depth discussions of some classics I have to read for my course once this year is over because they are intriguing and interesting too!
    Olivia Roach recently posted…November Wrap Up 2017My Profile

    • Vlora


      I’m totally with you on classics! Luckily there’s usually someone around who has read them when you want to discuss them. I wasn’t able to dedicate as much time as I’d like to blogging recently either, so I definitely feel you on that account. Looking forward to your discussions!

  7. Evelina @ AvalinahsBooks

    I’ve been thinking I should go back to reading some backlist stuff too. It’s not that I don’t think it’s cool – obviously that would be stupid, cause we have an infinity of stuff behind us, but only one year’s worth of stuff that’s new, right? But it’s just so easy to get carried away, especially if you have pressing deadlines when it comes to ARCs.
    Evelina @ AvalinahsBooks recently posted…Book Blogging Is Not Just A Stepping Stone!My Profile

  8. Ivyclad Ideas

    I’m a book blogger. I read what I want (…or what I’m told to by my course). I don’t think I’ve read a debut all year. At the end of the day, I read for me and I blog for me too. :)

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