Posted by: Kate | December 17, 2014

Musings on Reading

My whole family has been sick this past week, and I’ve been reading and knitting. Thanks to my Kobo I can even do both at the same time!

As I’ve been reading I’ve been noticing how I can tell what decade a popular fiction novel was written based on the descriptions of the main characters and their situations. Smokers as the lead man? Definitely pre 1995. Women wearing nylons? Also pre 1995. Desperately searching for a pay phone? Pre 2000. Board shorts at the beach? After 2000.

I find it fun to see how, although the underlying themes of fiction so rarely change, the trappings change so drastically, and can so quickly seem quaint, or out-moded, or simply strange.



  1. It is fun to catch these things. I’m still reading Dicken’s & a heck of a lot’s changed since his day. It’s amazing how far we’ve come. And how we’re still very much the same.

  2. I hope your family’s feeling much better!

    • Thanks Kim. We’re getting there!

  3. that’s a fun little game to play!
    hope you’re all feeling better soon!

    • Thanks!

  4. I read so many period pieces, I hadn’t thought of it. It will be fun to look for it now.

    • It’s funny how they’ve been jumping out at me. I think because the actual themes are so universal.

  5. I’m sorry your family has been hit with this bug, Kate. I hope you are all feeling 100% again by Christmas. As for the reading, yes, there are some things that really date books. But nylons? Don’t women wear nylons any more? I’m not a dress wearer, so totally missed that fashion update!

    I hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas!

    • I think we are just as likely to wear tights, or no nylons now. The book I was thinking of made it as much a part of the working office uniform as high heels – also something which has changed.

  6. I hope your family is better now (and that you didn’t end up catching what they had)! I do the same thing when I read…and when I watch movies. I find it funny in movies to pay attention to the electronics because it’s so easy to date movies based on that. Have a great holiday season Kate. You and your family are always in my thoughts.

    • Unfortunately it knocked all three of us down! We’re all feeling better although all still coughing.

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