Old Books are Better than New Books - Discuss

So I was talking with my Mother, who is a big reader, on the merits of old books versus new books. She exclaimed 'Why do you always read such old books? Read something new....', I replied: 'But new boooks are rubbish Mum, they don't represent anything, they don't mark periods in time, they are all anemic, like trendy disco, no blood, guts or passion'.

Recently, to learn more about the culture of my parents, Ive been reading some stuff I wouldn't normally have read. I DO love old paperbacks, but these types/titles were a great new set of finds:

Neville Shute - Landfall
Neville Shute - The Pied Piper
Nancy Mitford - Love in a Cold Climate
Doris Lessing - Five
Laurens Van Der Post - Flamingo Water
Shelley Smith - The Ballad of the Running Man
Alan Sillitoe - Road to Volgograd

A mixed bunch, but all with one thing in common, the idea of people who are idealistic, hounourable, dishonourable, principled, unprincipled, poetic, innocent, etc. You get what Im on about. To me, modern literature only smells of opportunism, pointlessness, self gratified smugness or sensationalism.

I love period literature, and have been building a collection of paperbacks for several years now, including angry young men [and women], beatnik and rock n roll books of the sixties/seventies, airport novels of the fifties and sixties, and film books like Carter, The Ipcress File, Spy Who Came in from the Cold etc. Just looking at the covers is a pleasure. I mean, how can a modern book compete with a title like 'A Real Cool Cat'?


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