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"Old Money" Core Values - Finding Your Library

A big part of the substance of it is Education.

Article contribution by Byron Tully

Photo: The English Gentleman - London Collections: Men @ The Spencer House

Many people I talk to are embracing the Old Money philosophy and way of life and letting go of the work-to-spend/constantly-in-motion/vicious consumer cycle that has dominated American culture for the last 75 years.

They’ve ditched the shopping mall for a hiking trail, turned off the television–or started watching PBS–and have opted out of social media in favor of actual social gatherings. They’re finding they have richer relationships, lower blood pressure, and a clearer perspective of what their life is all about.

They’ve also stopped buying the latest fashions, but let me be clear: Old Money culture is not about button-down shirts, khakis, and penny loafers. Those are (sometimes) aspects of it, but those clothing items are more symptomatic of a philosophy than the substance of it.

A big part of the substance of it is Education. What’s more, it’s important to understand that education doesn’t stop once you get a diploma and start a career. It’s a lifelong endeavor.

Photo: The English Gentleman - London Collections: Men @ The Spencer House

A key element to that endeavor is continuous reading. While the merits of Kindle, Nook, and the iPad are obvious, there is something about a physical book that captures the imagination (mine, anyway). It is a tangible, touchable condensation of the author’s thoughts: rich, detailed histories, revolutionary ideas, unforgettable fictional characters, great tales of adventure, inspiring biographies–all at your fingertips in a much more immediate way than the electronic medium.

If you’re on a budget (and most of us, OMG or not, are) a great source of free reading material can be found at your local public library. Yes, it’s wonderful to go online and order up the latest bestseller from Amazon without be required to leave the house or the cubicle. Another wonderful option is to walk to your local library, ask the librarian to suggest some classic titles that relate to your area of interest, and get lost in a forest of books for a few hours.

If you don’t feel sufficiently schooled in the classics, wouldn’t know where to start in a library, or would like to understand what all the hub-bub is about Shakespeare and his merry band of Dead White Males (wink, nod), start with Harold Bloom’s Western Canon. (To be fair, he covers the ladies, too, including Virginia Woolf and Jane Austen.)

Photo: The English Gentleman - London Collections: Men @ The Spencer House

Why go to a library? Because places hold the thoughts and energy of the people who frequent them, be they churches, schools, burlesque clubs, cemeteries, or libraries. The people who frequent libraries, it may be argued, are studious, curious, circumspect, and probably well-read. They may be–or will be in the future– well-educated, either formally or independently. The residue of their thirst for knowledge, considered thought, and well-informed opinion can be palpable in some libraries, especially on college campuses.

For centuries, libraries have been repositories of knowledge, incubators of thought, oases of tranquility in a too-fast world. They are a bastion of permanence in a disposable society.

No matter where you live, there’s probably one near you.

Check it out.

About Byron Tully (right)

Grandson of a newspaper publisher and son of an oil industry executive, Byron Tully is an author who also writes for the entertainment industry. His nonfiction debut, "The Old Money Book," was published in April of 2013 to excellent reviews and enjoys consistently strong sales worldwide. His other works include "The Old Money Guide To Marriage", "Old Money, New Woman: How To Manage Your Money and Your Life", and "Old Money Style - The Gentleman's Edition".

Byron regularly contributes to its blog, www.theoldmoneybook.com, which has been visited by over 1 million readers since 2014.

In February of 2020, "Old Money Style - The Gentleman's Edition" was published by Acorn Street Press. This fourth book in the Old Money series reveals the fundamentals of dressing well in a classic and timeless style. In November of 2020, Byron published a 2nd Edition of "The Old Money Book", which expands on his original classic. This 2nd Edition includes vital information and insights for readers as they navigate a very different, post-pandemic world.

Byron speaks frequently about the culture and values of Old Money. He has been interviewed by KABC New York's Financial Quarterback Show, The Huffington Post, and The Simple Dollar, among others.

He lives in Paris and is happily married to an Old Money Gal from Boston.

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