September 25, 2020 4 min read

Old books or new? This simple question has long been a subject of debate between readers, bookworms, and literature lovers around the world. In the end it all comes down to personal taste, but a strong argument can be made for why either is a more attractive choice to adorn your bookshelf with - and as a vintage bookstore, you should known where we stand on the matter already. Now, we're here to explain why we love vintage books and why old, rare, and antique editions are not just deserving of a place in your literary collection, but have a right to be there.


Where It All Began

Books have been printed for the masses for centuries now, with the oldest known printed book standing at well over one thousand years old. As such, old and vintage books are far more than just a collector's item - they are a piece of our history, each one a monument to the advancement and evolution of human intellect and creativity. This is just one of the reasons that we urge book lovers to grace their bookshelf with at least a few older editions of titles from another century. It not only provides a touch of class aesthetically, but it shows that you're a reader who truly appreciates the origins of the craft of penmanship and storytelling, origins which date back long before you and I.


The Options Are Limitless

With century after century of book printing behind us, it's only natural that the options are essentially without limit in the present day. Even throughout the last few decades alone, books have evolved so greatly that it's almost unbelievable. As such, anyone can have an entirely unique and individual bookcase depending on their personal tastes, from leather tomes, to orange Penguins, to mass market paperbacks, and more - and all it takes is a little online shopping. And, while new books are fresh and slick, there's no denying that they lack a certain charm that comes with older and rarer editions. Besides, who wants what the masses have when you can have your own rare and individual book collection anyway?


You CAN Judge A Book By Its Cover

Expanding on the previous point about vintage books often arguably having more character, it's clear today that new books are designed to appeal to the masses. While this is great from a money-making standpoint, it's often difficult to know exactly what you can expect to read on the pages behind the cover - vague, graphic-design style covers, whilst beautiful and not without their merits, are often interchangeable. This means that you could be holding two brand new books of entirely different genres in your hand (say, romance and mystery) and not be able to tell them apart. This simply isn't the case for many older books. When you look at a classic Agatha Christie title, a vintage sword-and-sorcery mass market paperback, or a pulp-style horror story, 20th century books especially often do a fantastic job at telling a reader exactly what they're getting themselves in for with the cover alone.


Is there much in this world better for stirring up a little nostalgia than re-discovering your favourite childhood reads, or a book from your earlier days in general? With vintage books, you can do just that. With everything from the smell of vintage books (yes, there are plenty of us book-sniffers out there) to the feel of the aged pages in your hand, nostalgia is a strong factor when it comes to buying vintage - and just one of the many reasons why we love vintage books.


It's an Investment

While we strongly urge all readers to purchase vintage books for their love of literature, it's just a bonus that doing so can often wind up being a fantastic financial investment. While many vintage books come at great value and are easy to build up a collection with (there are plenty of vintage bookstores in the world where you can walk out with a basket full of older books for less than £5), you never know how much a set or series might be worth in ten, twenty, or thirty years time. So, when it comes to finally moving on from a collection of titles that you've gotten all the enjoyment you can from, and when it's time to pass those books along to another home, it's not unfeasible to make a profit whilst doing so! After all, the prices of used products often dip first then rise later - and there's nothing wrong with making the most of that.


Protecting the Planet

Finally we arrive at possibly the most important point of all - protecting the planet. There are millions upon millions of books printed every year, and, whilst it's wonderful that so many people still appreciate and value the pastime of reading, that takes a serious toll on the trees. Where do you think all that paper comes from? That's why we urge our customers to buy vintage - to take home pre-loved books, and to pass your own along, thus reducing the need for excessive printing whilst not letting pieces of literary history end up in landfills. It's also why we ensure all of our packaging is entirely recyclable - we practice what we preach!



While you're here, be sure to read more about our sustainability and eco-friendly business practices, and learn more about how you can make a huge difference by simply being conscious of your book-buying habits.

Looking for where to buy vintage books? Here's what makes Country House Library so special...

  • Thousands of rare and vintage books from authors such as Jane Austen, J. R. R. Tolkien, Agatha Christie, and more.
  • Fast and free worldwide delivery when you spend £30 or more.
  • 15% off your entire first order when you use the code CHL15 before you check out.
Lewis Saddington
Lewis Saddington


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