Booking Through Thursday – Now or Then

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Do you prefer reading current books? Or older ones? Or outright old ones? (As in, yes, there’s a difference between a book from 10 years ago and, say, Charles Dickens or Plato.)

About half the books I’ve read this year are current books – published within the last ten years. The other half date from the 1930s to the 1990s, the oldest being Why Didn’t They Ask Evans? by Agatha Christie. I also like older books by authors such as Jane Austen, the Brontes, George Eliot, Tolstoy, Thackeray and Dickens. I can’t say that I have a preference either way as I like to vary my reading. Sometimes I want to read older books and sometimes modern ones.

As for ‘outright old’ books I have read a few, books like the Cloud of Unknowing, Marcus Aurelius’s Meditations, and Dante’s Divine Comedy, which I haven’t finished yet! Coming forward a bit in time I also like Shakespeare, but prefer to see the plays, rather than read them. Thinking about this post has reminded me that I’ve been meaning to read Don Quixote for ages. My copy was published in the 1920s and I think I’d like a more modern translation, which would be an appropriate combination of old and new. Has anyone any suggestions about which one to choose?

9 thoughts on “Booking Through Thursday – Now or Then”

  1. I’m not sure what to suggest for Don Quixote. I tried reading it once in Spanish for a Spanish Lit class and between not knowing a lot of the “big” words and whatever else, I just couldn’t get into it. :/

    Here is my answer to Booking Through Thursday!

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  2. Margaret – Interesting question, actually. I read books from all sorts of eras. I don’t honestly have a preference, to tell the truth. It depends as much on my mood as on anything else.

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  3. Now that I think about it, I may very well enjoy older stories…if I had newer versions of them. Take Don Quixote for example…It’s a really great story, but the book is just SO HARD to actually read. The movie told the story well (as well as a movie can tell a book’s story, anyway) but the book just never really spoke to me. Maybe I’ll test this theory out….

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  4. I enjoy the best sellers, but it all depends on my mood and what I feel like reading. I too think that it is sometimes hard to read very old books due to the style of writing which can make it a very slow read so it would be interesting to read a old book with a modern twist.

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  5. I’m always meaning to read more from the past, but then I see so many new books in the shop that just beg to be picked up and read that somehow I never get round to it. Smae old story – too many books, not enough time!

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  6. I have to say that I agree with you. It’s always nice to read something new then change it up with something older. I find that I like to change things up every now and then.

    As for Don Quixote, I bought the Barnes & Noble classic version a while back, but have not read it yet. I think thats going to be a book to read when I’m stuck at home in a blizzard.

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