Obsolete and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Qty:1
  • List Price: $15.95
  • Save: $3.17 (20%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Only 7 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
Obsolete: An Encyclopedia... has been added to your Cart
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Used: Good | Details
Sold by hippo_books
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Item qualifies for FREE shipping and Prime! This item is used.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

Obsolete: An Encyclopedia of Once-Common Things Passing Us By, from Mix Tapes and Modesty to Typewriters and Truly Blind Dates Hardcover – September 1, 2009


See all 5 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Hardcover, September 1, 2009
$12.78
$0.01 $0.01
Best%20Books%20of%202014

Special Offers and Product Promotions

  • Take an Extra 30% Off Any Book: Use promo code HOLIDAY30 at checkout to get an extra 30% off any book for a limited time. Excludes Kindle eBooks and Audible Audiobooks. Restrictions apply. Learn more.

  • Get a $100 Amazon.com Gift Card: Get the Discover it card and get a $100.00 Amazon.com Gift Card* after your first purchase within 3 months. Learn more.

Frequently Bought Together

Obsolete: An Encyclopedia of Once-Common Things Passing Us By, from Mix Tapes and Modesty to Typewriters and Truly Blind Dates + Whatever Happened to Pudding Pops?: The Lost Toys, Tastes, and Trends of the 70s and 80s + Mail-Order Mysteries: Real Stuff from Old Comic Book Ads!
Price for all three: $37.05

Buy the selected items together

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Harry N. Abrams; 1st edition (September 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0810978490
  • ISBN-13: 978-0810978492
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #410,377 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Anna Jane Grossman is a New York–based freelance writer specializing in lifestyle and arts and entertainment features. Her work has appeared in dozens of publications, including the New York Times, Salon.com, the Washington Post, CNN.com, the Associated Press, Elle, New York Magazine, Marie Claire, and Fortune.


More About the Author

Anna Jane Grossman is a New York-based freelance writer specializing in lifestyle and entertainment features. Her work has appeared in dozens of publications, including The New York Times, Salon.com, The Washington Post, Elle, and Fortune.
Her second book, Obsolete, is being published by Abrams Image in September 2009. For more information, visit: http://AnnaJane.net.

Customer Reviews

From a writing standpoint, Obsolete is okay but nothing special.
mrliteral
Anna Jane Grossman creates a truly enjoyable way of bringing back the memories of those nearly forgotten creations, ways of life and past observations.
Sandra Santora
This book is a great read; be prepared for a walk down memory lane... it's not about Victorian-era stuff-- this is stuff that I had in my OWN HOUSE.
Tax Accountant

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By M. Rothman on August 26, 2009
Format: Hardcover
When my daughter tried to return money I had left in her purse, I told her to keep it because a girl should always have change in case she needs to make a phone call. After I said this, I realized how "obsolete" that sounded and was. A kid of this generation would first ask to borrow someone elses cell phone [even a stranger's] rather than use a pay phone... or know how to use one. This book made me aware of these types of time warp moments. A book everyone will enjoy and find interesting.
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By DACHokie VINE VOICE on October 11, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Anna Jane Grossman's effort to remind us of so many of the things we once took for granted that have suddenly (and quietly) vanished from our lives is both intriguing and fun to read. While I believe the book definitely offered a taste for my hunger for nostalgia, I found it somewhat unfulfilling in the end.

"Obsolete" is thought-provoking in that it does make one realize how once-seemingly indispensible "things" have somehow simply disappeared in our society's race toward the technological future. Presented in an alphabetized/encyclopedic format, Grossman's range of topics for all-things obsolete are diverse (ditto-paper or easy to open packaging), humorous (handkerchiefs), expected (typewriters) and occasionally odd (wrinkles). Some of the topics covered are simply addressed with a witty, sarcastic quip (anonymity), while others delve deeply into the history of the subject matter (film). In this regard, "Obsolete" scores big points as being both entertaining and informative. While it isn't exactly baffling to understand the downfall of stuffing mucous-covered cloth into pockets for re-use, it is interested how our society has gradually snuffed the art of cursive writing. Grossman definitely does the research on several topics and her efforts often provide a curiosity-satisfying history that led to the flourish of things that have since disappeared.

While the book is oftentimes educational and fun to read, I was hoping for more considering there are so many common things have disappeared in recent years. Maybe this is expecting too much from the author, but when a subtitle includes the word "encyclopedia", I expect the content to reveal more, not less.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
20 of 26 people found the following review helpful By mrliteral VINE VOICE on February 4, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Anna Jane Grossman's Obsolete was a book I was really looking forward to reading, an encyclopedia of the devices of the past that are no longer used or needed: slide rules, typewriters and such. Unfortunately, you can't always get what you want.

In format, this book is a list of various items that Grossman has designated as obsolete, often with some snarky description of the item. Okay, her humor rarely worked for me, but that is a rather subjective thing. On other, more objective levels, this book fails to live up to its potential.

For one thing, there are clearly items missing, ones that should definitely be in a book like this. Slide rules certainly fit in the "obsolete" category; at one time an essential calculation device, it has since been replaced by calculators and computers which do better jobs at a faster pace. How about tapes? Cassettes, eight-tracks and reel-to-reels are all worthy of mention but are neglected (although she doles mention mix tapes).

Grossman also describes items as obsolete that are really just styles that have fallen out of fashion. Yes, short basketball shorts are no longer used, but not because they are obsolete, but rather just because they are not the style of the moment. Grossman also lists items she may wish were obsolete but aren't there yet, such as books or cash. And then there are layaway purchases: maybe they have fallen out of use, but they're actually making a comeback in this shaky economy.

From a writing standpoint, Obsolete is okay but nothing special. Since it fails to deliver on what it promises, however, I have to rate this with two stars. This book is sadly a disappointment.
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By J. R. Trtek TOP 1000 REVIEWER on November 29, 2012
Format: Hardcover
This is yet another volume in the class of books that briefly discuss a host of things -- pieces of technology, cultural artifacts or customs -- that have fallen by the wayside, perhaps never to be seen or practiced again. From correction fluid to housewives to manual car windows, we get the lowdown to varying degrees. And "varying" perhaps sums up this book in many ways. In some instances, the item under consideration is given a thorough examination, from its beginnings through its heyday right up to and beyond its demise. In other cases, all we get is a definition of the article or practice with no background or history at all. And, as at least one other reviewer has noted, there are many examples where the object or custom is not so much obsolete as simply passe or out of current fashion. Grossman's writing is okay but nothing special -- there is some humor which helps matters along at times, but again it's not an incredibly witty book. I found it okay, but nothing more.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Sandra Santora on September 18, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Anna Jane Grossman creates a truly enjoyable way of bringing back the memories of those nearly forgotten creations, ways of life and past observations. Her modern and so often humorous slant provides the type of encyclopedia that encourages one to pick up her book today as well as in the future.

In these times a look at the past with reminders of how things were - with a laugh out loud - can always find a ready audience.

Sandy Santora
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews