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The Dog Ear: Why aren't books pop culture?

By Alyssa McDonagh
On February 17, 2014

Books have become integrated into pop culture in so many different and unexpected ways. Pop culture has formulated new ideas by drawing inspiration from authors' words. For everyone that claims they don't like books or they don't like reading: you can't avoid it forever. Even if you never pick up a book, it is extremely likely that the effect of an author's writing has crossed your path in life.
What I find extremely interesting is novels have extended their readership to the sets of photo shoots, influencing both the location and fashion trends. The August 2012 issue of "Teen Vogue" featured a model in a wide array of clothing including jackets with fur trim, coats of arms embroidered on shirts, sturdy boots and intricately laced skirts. The title of the photo shoot? "Game of Thrones." The pages suggest that you will "look like royalty" if you follow the trends set by medieval times. It was evident that whoever designed the photo shoot read "Game of Thrones." Had the book taken place in modern times, I could easily envision the characters dressed like the model.
Even apps have been drawing on books, making them an important part of the content. "QuizUp" is a fun quiz game app I recently downloaded. The concept is simple. After choosing a topic, you will be paired against an opponent to answer questions. The faster you answer, the more points you receive. One of the topics in the game is "Literature." Literature is divided into 30 categories. If you want to challenge your overall knowledge, try Book Quotes, Classics, or Literature: General. Fans of series such as "Divergent," "The Lord of the Rings," or "Song of Ice and Fire" can choose to play quizzes solely on those books. As you earn more points, you receive titles based on your ranking in the quiz category. I'm currently ranked "House Elf" in the Harry Potter category. This is the app for you if you are eager to show off your knowledge of books.
Countless books have been adapted into movies, exemplifying the film industry's extensive use of authors' stories. However, some movies aren't strict adaptations of books, but instead heavily referenced literary works. "Shakespeare in Love" tells the story of Shakespeare's struggle in writing "Romeo and Juliet." For those familiar with the play, it is very interesting to see Shakespeare piece together his writing with the help of his muse, Viola. The stage production of "Romeo and Juliet" as Shakespeare is writing it is also shown, along with references to additional plays such as "Twelfth Night." Creatively explaining, albeit fictionally, Shakespeare's revelations and hardships makes this film extremely enjoyable to watch for literature enthusiasts.
No one likes to be that one person that didn't watch the newest episode of a TV show. Why isn't the same attitude taken with books? Why don't we have that out of the loop feeling if we don't know the newest literary trends? Finding new methods of bringing people in contact with books may help increase readership. If nothing else, it may give books more attention in our technology-based society.

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