Bookish Thoughts: Older Titles vs. Current Releases

Books, books, books.  

Do you ever find yourself reading new releases by popular authors rather than reading older titles by the same authors? There are some authors that can be considered my absolute favorites.  Authors like Diane Chamberlain, Elin Hilderbrand, and Colleen Hoover.  Have I read all of their books? No.  Do I always read the new books they release? Yes.

As I sat here thinking about this, I realized that often when we talk about the books that we’ve recently read and enjoyed we often discuss new releases, but what about older works? 

Lately, I’ve been making a conscious effort to read older titles by the authors whose new novels I usually always read.   I’ve also found that I sometimes enjoy these older novels more than their latest releases.  A good example of this is with Jodi Picoult.  I wasn’t the biggest fan of her two most recent novels The Book of Two Ways and A Spark of Light, but I devoured Small Great Things and Harvesting the Heart when I read them this past year. I also recently read and enjoyed Jane Green’s 2012 novel Another Piece of my Heart and Beth Harbison’s 2012 novel Always Something There to Remind Me.  Maybe 2012 was just a good year for books, but these novels pulled me right in and I was unable to put them down!

Have you found yourself reading more current releases rather than older works? Why do you think this is? If you’re a fan of older novels, what are some titles that you’d suggest others read?

Katie, Head of Adult Services & Acquisitions: I read both older titles and current releases! One example is the Pendergast Series. I read all the new books they put out the day they are released, but I also love going back to revisit some of the earlier stories, mainly Cabinet of Curiosities or Still Life with Crows.

Hongmei, Adult Services & Acquisitions Librarian: I love to read old classical books because they have stood the test of time, the new books are still in a probationary period. Reading old classical books helps me to understand the past and know how things were developed. I enjoy classic books such as Jane EyreWar and Peace, The Time Machine, Gone With The Wind.

Archana, Adult Services & Acquisitions Librarian: I most definitely am lured by and tend to read newer works of popular authors, rather than their older ones; I can think of couple of reasons for that–

  • Publicity given to new releases in the print and online media makes new releases very conspicuous and hard to miss and resist.
  • It is hard to find enough reading time, and I feel it is better to keep myself updated with the author’s new releases, rather than go back to older titles.
  • As a result of this I have a growing backlog of older works and classics in literature that I haven’t quite got to reading yet and are on my bucket list.

Suggestions for older reads include works by Jane Austen, Arthur Conan Doyle, Oscar Wilde, H. G. Wells, Arthur C. Clarke, Bronte sisters, Agatha Christie,Charles Dickens, among infinite other must reads!

Joe, Adult Service & Acquisitions Librarian: I try to maintain a balanced diet of older & current books, though I probably read older ones slightly more often. I guess it’s because there’s simply a far bigger selection of books from the past than from the present, and so there are a lot more good old books to choose from. Of course, if a writer I’ve enjoyed for years publishes a new book, I’ll try to read it as soon as I can– like with George Saunders and his latest release, A Swim in a Pond in the RainAnd if anyone’s looking for sharply satirical, endlessly imaginative, extraordinarily poignant short fiction, I enthusiastically suggest CivilWarLand in Bad Decline, Saunders’ first collection from 25 years ago.

-Jessica, Adult Services & Acquisitions Librarian

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