I am surprised and appalled when I see people throwing away what they deem to be ‘old’ books. I don’t mean falling apart old. I simply mean ‘old.’ Books like Moby Dick (published in 1851); Island of the Blue Dolphins (1960); Charlotte’s Web (1952).
Now really. Does it matter what year Island of the Blue Dolphins was written since it takes place in the mid 1800s? And isn’t the theme of a quest for knowledge, as in Moby Dick, still applicable today?
What about dear ol’ Shakespeare? Charles Dickens? Jane Austen? Oscar Wilde? Virginia Woolf? James Joyce? Walt Whitman? William Faulkner? George Orwell? Mark Twain? (Just to name a few!) Should we just stop reading their work because of the date of publication?
The thought appalls me. Good writing is good writing. No matter its age.
(There … I feel better.)
2 thoughts on Excuse my rant …
We just had this conversation . . .
“If you have never read Charlotte’s Web, how do we know that you have the compassion to be a teacher of young minds?”
There are no expiration dates for books. I’m with you!
Ooh … I love that question! Speaking of Charlotte’s Web, check out Melissa Sweet’s book Some Writer: The Story of E.B. White if you haven’t already. Amazing first drafts of Charlotte’s Web included.