Obsolete: An Encyclopedia of Once-Common Things Passing Us By

Anna Jane Grossman, James Gulliver Hancock

nonfiction history
funny informative fast-paced

192 pages | first published 2009

Thanks to advancing technology and shifting mores, the amount of change we experience in our lifetimes is truly exceptional. Objects and practices that are commonplace can very quickly become outmoded. In this witty and informative collection of short essays, journalist and social commentator Anna Jane Grossman takes a thoughtful look at what everyday apparatuses, ideas, and behaviors are quickly disappearing—or else have already left the building.



Obsolete contains essays and entries on more than 100 alphabetized fading subjects, including Blind Dates, Mix Tapes, Getting Lost, Porn Magazines, Looking Old, Operators, Camera Film, Hitchhiking, Body Hair, Writing Letters, Basketball Players in Short Shorts, Privacy, Cash, and, yes, Books. This ode to obsolescence also includes 25 quirky pen-and-ink line illustrations to further help us remember exactly what we’re missing.

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