What Is The Point Of Reading Old Books?

what is the point of reading old books

You might love reading but do you prefer old or new books? Many of the people around me choose to read and re-read the latest books available. There’s nothing wrong with it, but from what I’ve experienced, old books are more beneficial to read. This habit is nowadays commonly seen in people who have recently become readers. They start by reading a new, trending book and then wait for more new ones to be released but don’t you think we all should explore old books as well? 

Reading is like my passion and I read a lot of books daily. I finish reading dozens of books within a single month and I have a massive collection of books, both old and new. Still, I’ve always had a bias towards old and classical books as the way situations are explained; it’s difficult to find in modern-aged books.

Reading is a healthy habit as whole but old books add to the benefits. Old books are essential as they give us insights into a particular aging society and the problems and issues, making us empathize with older adults. It helps us gain a broader perspective and also, old books give us more than just content; they provide us with context.

Even though I’m well aware of all the new books coming out in the market and I’ve also read most of them already, I keep on looking for old classics from time to time for my good. Here’s why I would suggest that all readers start reading old books as well.

Why Should One Read Old Books?

Here is a list of a few reasons why I think reading old books is important.

1. Gives You A Peek Inside Old Society

a piece of paper from an old book

Ever wonder what all happened in old times and how things used to be? Yeah, I know we all study about that in our history textbooks at some point, but that isn’t enough if you want to know more than just how that particular civilization was set up and how it was structured. I’m pretty sure we all are more interested in learning how their social life worked and the mentality of the people of that time.

Reading old books written by someone from that same timeline gives us a lot more information about that period than our history textbooks would ever be able to. We get to witness the first-hand description of the way of living, talking, and other social aspects of that society.

 And do you know what the best part is? I can understand different periods from different states of other countries while lying comfortably on my bed and reading a few books. 

2. Helps Broaden Perspective

a woman with a book in her hand having a perspective

Our world has made a lot of progress over time. But people still had to face some similar problems and situations when the world was still somewhere primitive. People still managed to get their problems solved, and sometimes, in much better ways how we solve them today.

Old books contain how people of that time handled things with the limited resources they had and many of those situations can be related by the modern readers. It’ll help people like us gain a broader perspective about various things so that we can either adapt their way of handling stuff or learn from their mistakes so as not to repeat them ourselves.

I’ve done it several times myself. I take up a trick or two from some old classics and handle situations and people in the same classical style. Trust me; it’s a lot of fun.

3. Builds Empathy

a woman ling on bed with a book in one hand and cuddling a dog with other

I know we have problems in our lives, but don’t you think that people in old times had to face more problems than we do? The reason is that the society was primitive socially, culturally, and scientifically. But this knowledge is provided to us only by some good old books.

Reading books describing such incidents builds the sense of empathy inside a human. It makes us thankful for whatever we have got as there were tons of intractable social problems and the horrors related to them were so extreme that we can only imagine them.

 Even though society still faces problems like crimes against women, injustice towards the minorities and weaker sects, and even the problems like theft and murders, they were much more prevalent during the old times and there were no strict laws against them.

4. Have Been Time-Tested

an old woman testing a book with a magnifying glass

Time is the best tester. A thing that has passed the test of time is worth it and the same is the case with old books. You might have noticed that whenever a new book is released if anything is inappropriate, it gets criticized widely, which sometimes leads to the book being banned. 

If an old book is still out there in the market for sale without any controversies, that means it is appropriate for reading and does not contain anything that can affect the mind of the present-day generation. Inappropriate content includes stereotypical statements, hate or defamation towards a particular personality, or anything that causes mass agitation. If an old book has not been in controversial talks regarding any of it, it’s just the book we need.

Not all old books have passed this test, but many of them have and this indicates that they contain genuine and neat information about the happenings in that society. 

5. They Give You Context

a woman explaining something to a child with the help of books

Old is gold and so are old books. That’s why so many new readers have references to so many old classical books in them! But have you ever imagined a funny connection about some famous old book character being popped up in a book you are reading along with your friends where everyone else gets it, but you are clueless? Such a nightmare, isn’t it? Well, reading a few old and famous books can help prevent it.

Old books are the best for contextual reading. These days, a lot of books use old books as references. If you’ve already read that book, it’ll be easy for you to understand and relate to the current book you’re reading, or else, you’ll have to search a lot about the reference made and you will be going back and forth a lot while reading.

After watching the current assimilation of old classics and the new modern books, it won’t be wrong to say that aging is the latest trend these days. Old books use real-life examples while new books use models similar to them where the author has not experienced any such thing themself.


These were some of the reasons why reading old books is essential. No matter how progressive we become with time, what’s ancient and authentic will always remain the same and it’ll always be a fact that old is gold.

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