New Books, Backlist, or Classics?

Okay, so it’s about five minutes til my bedtime, so this is going to be the quickest little discussion post you ever read.

Which do you like reading the best, new books, backlist (books that are 5-20 years old) or classics? Perhaps more interesting, how do your reading habits reflect those preferences?

For me it’s changed over time. I used to like the classics the best, hands down. Every book I picked up was a masterpiece, and so every time I read a book I had such a great experience! Sure, there were some I didn’t connect with (I’m looking at YOU Anna Karenina…), but for the most part it was amazing. But then… I read all the good ones? I don’t know, I just kind of ran out of classics that I was interested in or excited about. So for a bit I got suuuuper into new books. Because, you know, book blogging. Now I’ve settled into a steady stream of reading mostly backlist books.

I like backlist because there’s lots of opportunity to hear what the community thinks, and I don’t waste my time reading something just so-so like I did when I was reading a lot of newer books that weren’t vetted yet. But they’re not old, so they still feel fresh and exciting. I also just tend to read whatever gets brought to my attention, and apparently it takes a couple years for me to hear about things, lol.

Apparently my reading habits do not reflect this AT ALL. According to my spreadsheet, Out of the 72 books I read last year, 57 were published in the 2010s, and 34 (about half) either in 2019 or 2018. And while I still love the classics, I only read one classic last year. So, yeah. Apparently I don’t follow my own advice and do what I know is going to get me a great reading experience! Yay for me!

What about YOU? New, classic, or old? Let me know in the comments!

22 thoughts on “New Books, Backlist, or Classics?

  1. I read a lot of backlist. I like reading books that have been out for a little while (a few years) because you’re not reading what everyone else is reading or falling into the hype of a new book. I also enjoy the classics and new books but not as much as older books.

    Also, financially, it’s hard to keep up with all the new books.

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  2. I would prioritize as follows: backlist, classics, new books. In case of backlist and classics, the more they stand the test of time, the higher chances to enjoy it. For example, I recently read “The Secret History”, a book written around the time I was born, and it was amazing!! With new books I am quite reticent in general (except when it’s written by an author I already know).

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  3. I tend to read fairly new books at the minute because of my involvement with NetGalley in the book blogging community. However, I still read plenty of “older” books – books published several years ago that I’m only just getting round to borrowing from my library or picking up in a charity shop.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Agreed. I feel a lot of pressure to be relevant on my blog, which is kind of funny because I have zero desire to increase my followers or be super popular or anything. But hyped books get a lot more views…


  4. … I … am still totally distracted by the fact that you didn’t connect with Anna Karenina!
    Perhaps you were a victim of a bad translation?

    I’ll try to pull myself together …

    I tend to read whatever I stumble across. This means my reads are usually neither brand-new nor classics, though occasionally either kind might get read by me. New books, usually because they end up on the New Books shelf in the library. Classics, because I find them for sale for 50 cents on the library’s sale shelf. 🙂

    I just don’t have the energy to try to keep up with new releases, buzz, ARCs and all that. I suppose I ought to, an as aspiring author, but it’s just too exhausting and I know I won’t like most of the new books and it’s not possible to be on the cutting edge because there is always somebody out there who is younger, hipper, and reads faster. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t think it was a translation problem. I think it was a 50 pages of farming problem, lol. I didn’t even get far enough in to meet Anna. It’s pretty much the same reason I have zero desire to read Moby Dick.

      Keeping up with new releases not only takes a lot of energy, but a lot of TIME. Since blogging is my hobby, I don’t have a lot of spare time to be doing “anticipated releases” posts and the like. *shrugs*

      Liked by 1 person

      1. OK, that is fair. Now that I think about it, when I read Anna I was in kind of an isolated place with not a huge book selection. Perhaps if there had been other things available, I wouldn’t have stuck with it. I was surprised by how Anna is really only half the story. There is another character, Levin (the wealthy farmer), and as Anna is on a downward trajectory of disintegration, Levin is on an upward trajectory of struggle and finding himself. But for some reason no one ever talks about Levin when they talk about the book.

        So true. My time is precious, I want to spend it on things that I actually like to read. 😉 Plus we all have lives …

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I keep a decent balance between new and upcoming releases and backlist titles, or at least I try to. I read a whole bunch of classics from elementary school thru college, so I don’t pick them up as often these days, unless I’m struck by a random mood to read some.

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  6. I feel that I am reading a good mix of books. Some are fairly new (released this or last year), some classics, but mostly books that are between 2-10 years old. I am still exploring what genres I like so I try to read quite a variety in order to find out what my taste is. Really enjoy fantasy, but this year I am going to try to read more graphic novels, sci-fi and nonfiction as well =)

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