Old never gets old – Why Books and Vinyl Records are still in Fashion

Male hands holding passport or notebook. Man and relax or art music life style concept

Downloads are quick, easy and convenient. Whether using an eReader on the morning commute, or streaming tunes into your ear buds (or both), these online solutions are here to stay.

You’d think print books, and especially old school vinyl records, might have died out by now. But year after year they defy expectations. Demand is still healthy for volumes and discs.

2020 saw people’s bookshelves become a worldwide talking point via Zoom. Meanwhile, turntables are playing the classics – plus new releases – on a tried and trusted format.

Why are the old ways still seemingly the best? Let’s take a look at how books and vinyl records have stood the test of time well into the 21st century…

They are very collectable

While things may have moved on from print on a page and the vinyl printing press, there’s one thing that’s never going out of style… collecting stuff.

Here’s the thing. Many people enjoy acquiring books and records. It’s a cool hobby, but sometimes the collecting process can go way beyond casual purchases!

The Guinness Book of Records lists John Q Benham of the USA as the world’s biggest book collector. He has an eye-watering 1.5 million plus in a private collection! Some even need to be stored outside.

Meanwhile, Zero Freitas of Brazil has racked up at least 6 million records in a musical marathon. He reportedly plans to make his hugely impressive hoard available to the public at some point.

We don’t expect you to share their passion, or indeed their bank balance! Yet what better way to demonstrate the power of old-fashioned collecting…?

They are often beautifully-designed

All publishers want their books and records to be pleasing to the eye. It doesn’t always turn out that way, but an amazing aesthetic always matters when tempting buyers.

This is a work of art. Tales of Beedle the Bard’ by J.K. Rowling looks like a vintage volume. In fact, she created this extra special edition herself, going so far as to hand write it, and install jewels on the cover for a touch of luxury.

Why did she do this? Reportedly to say thanks to her publisher for taking a chance and launching her stellar career. It was later auctioned for the staggering sum of £368,750!

That was a true one off, though there are more affordable options out there for buyers and collectors looking for something that’ll look amazing on their shelf.

On the musical side, a deluxe limited edition of Wild World by Bastille will set you back a more modest £35. And if that’s a little new for you, how about this…?

Elvis Presley’s debut album has been known to go for £425 as a mono edition. The sight of the King himself belting out a tune on the cover is as priceless as any Mona Lisa…

Their appeal is universal

You may think books and records are the preserve of older generations. However the truth is you’d be wrong. Young people enjoy old school product as much as their elders.

Where’s the evidence? In 2019, CNBC reported that 75% of 18 – 29 year olds checked out a printed book in 2017.

Classic FM reported that in 2019 vinyl outpaced CDs sales-wise. According to a YouGov survey, 1 in 4 people aged 18-24 had picked up a record over the past month.

Things have no doubt intensified with lockdown. Books and records provide a distraction you can see and touch rather than simply scroll and swipe through. Which brings us to our next section…

Where do you find them?

If this article has piqued your interest in books and vinyl, or given you inspiration to seek out more, then you’ll be pleased to hear you can find them in various places.

Old media, old methods. For some, there’s nothing more enjoyable than browsing a second hand bookshop or record store, leafing through the titles in search of something great.

However, in the digital age online browsing and shopping is often the best way of satisfying your needs. Multiple websites can spell confusion for people who want to know where to start.

In terms of books, a site such as Used Book Search delivers a great overview if you’re after everything from a paperback thriller to a rare text.

Records are well-served via shops like Vinyl Tap or a price comparison search such as www.vinylrecordsearch.com. And don’t forget about Vinyl Record Day, which happens on August 12th. It’s as good a time as any to check out promotions and seek out bargains.

The big beasts of Amazon and eBay are also useful for finding the perfect volume or vinyl treasure for you. Make sure you and the seller are on the right page though, otherwise they’re liable to put you in a spin…!