Saturday, May 02, 2009

Am I the only one who does this?

The first thing I do when I pick up a book is to look at the copyright date (or date of original publication). This tells me, in addition to the date of original publication, something about the author's perspective and also allows me to ignore "Are you kidding me?" moments because either: (i) that's what people thought at the time; or (ii) that's what the author wanted people to think at the time; (iii) the thing they're mentioning hasn't occurred yet (this occurs particularly in science fiction); or (iv) yes, that is, in fact, what things cost back then.

I always thought everyone did this, but lately when I tell people, I keep getting funny looks...

2 comments:

PJ Hoover said...

It's not the first thing I do, but normally something will trigger me to look while reading it. The writing style (like a deadly slow beginning). Contemporary events. And yes, price!

skcubrats said...

Like PJ, not the first thing I do. I do it pretty quick for most of the non-fiction that I read about current affairs to see whether it is pre 911 or post or maybe pre economic meltdown or post. Differing temporal perspectives can make a difference. Many people may not be aware that the copyright information is there.

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