Old fashioned books versus modern books, with a side of ‘vocabulary’.

The first thing I wanted to talk about was me, as usual.

I seem to know a lot of weird English for someone my age. But hey, I can’t help it, it’s the way I am. I mean that I know and use words like ridicule, vast, indubitably and amenable. And when I’m learning French, I have a tendency to go “Oh, so repas is the word for meal, just like our English word repast.” Or maybe it will be “De valise, exactly the same as in English. Easy.”

And people don’t always understand me. And yeah I get that other kids don’t read as much or as widely as me, but hey. I expect my (native English-speaking) teachers to know what I’m talking about and that can’t be that unreasonable.

I read a book called ‘The Satanic Mill’, set in 17th century Germany and written in 1971 but based on a folktale and it was quite fascinating. Not the easiest of reading, being a translation, and not a known classic or anything. Just a random book my mother brought home for me. I really enjoyed it.

Then, not yet being home and wanting further distraction, I turned to the other book I had hurriedly thrown in my bag – ‘Only the Good Spy Young’. And I started reading that after briefly noticing the reccommendation saying that any teen girl would want to read it, and then reread it.

Long story short, hey, it’s an OK book but not brilliant. Certainly I wouldn’t bother rereading it. I wonder if I’m not a teenager or not a girl? Maybe both.

I just seem to have a preference for older novels and that’s fine, other people can like different stuff to me. But I would like to say that sometimes I feel like I underestimate myself. I know this sounds really cocky and self-assured but the fact is, I think I could write a book that good in terms of writing style, definitely. And in terms of plot? You know, I haven’t finished it so maybe there’ll be a clever twist but I think I could manage that too. And it’s not like I’m an amazing writer (I’m THE MOST amazing…jks). Obviously I couldn’t write something like Terry Pratchett or Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy or the Lord of the Rings, but something like these spy girl books? Easy. (If I liked spies or bothered to do some research.)

Anyway. What I’m trying to say is that it seems like it’s much easier to publish a book now and as a result there is a wider variety to choose from and also a wider selection of below-average books, if only simply due to natural proportioning.

And it seems like these are often what’s being read by many young people like myself, except I’m weird and read authors like Rumer Godden and Paul Gallico and think they’re great. I can’t help it, ‘Flowers for Mrs Harris’ is just as fanciful and predictable as a modern book, but the different setting and language used makes it so much more interesting than what seems like mass-produced fodder. Of course there are exceptions, there are brilliantly written modern books, and just regular old good books in general, and bad old-timey books, but as a general rule, I prefer those written maybe 30 years ago and beyond.

And then I have a wider vocabulary than many of those around me, and it’s strange because I simply expect them to know what I’m talking about, and they…don’t. Annoying.



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