Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Pop Culture References in Books


After reading a book that alluded to songs that were supposedly popular but not actually saying either a real name or a fake name of a band and song I started thinking about how authors deal with pop culture references in books.

For instance, in Meg Cabot’s Princess Diaries books she actually refers to the real life artists etc.  There is a mention of Britney Spears in the books.  Other books refer to products such as iPhone’s etc.  This tends to add in a realistic feel to it.  However, it also dates the books.  I do know of instances where some of the books have been updated to go with the changes but those are in the minority.

I don’t have any examples off the top of my head but there are some books that make up pop culture in the books universe and talk about those as being what’s in or popular at the time.  One example I can think of is the Airhead books by Meg Cabot, they feature celebrity Gabriel Luna.

Then there are the other ones that just allude to some singer or song being popular without actually mentioning a name or title.  I can’t really think of any books off the top of my head but there are some that do.

It’s something that I’ve often thought about and it makes me wonder which one is better to do and I think that in some situations the different ones are better.  I think that the one I’m the least favourable of is the one that mentions the actual pop culture reference such as Britney Spears etc. because it does date the book a little bit although it doesn’t bother me as much as it could.

I think that I prefer the ones where they actually don’t mention a name or title or anything like that at all because it means that you can imagine it for yourself depending on when you read the book.
Anyway, those are my thoughts on pop culture references in books.  Do you have any thoughts to add?

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