Spotting old books and magazines and dummy newspapers in TV, movies and old photos


Non Bio
Staff member
Jan 5, 2001
Way on Down South, London Town
If we are going to spot anachronisms in film and TV we're going to need a much bigger thread! :lol:

I've not been very good at this. I've only spotted a few, even though I'm on the lookout now in everything I watch, but I just found out that we aren't the only ones doing this. We may have have been the first though!

Here are two other places that I've found: a list from 2020
The books hidden in the backgrounds of your favourite films and TV shows an article from May 2022

The IMDb list is unhelpful because it doesn't say which book, whereabouts in the film or have any images, so I can't even say if it is correct. The Penguin list is better (I think we've already mentioned a couple here) but it has many others we haven't. Quite a lot of research has gone into that webpage.

Childhood by Tove Ditlevsen, spotted in Conversations With Friends (2022)
Conversations with Friends by Sally Rooney, spotted in Succession (2019)
The Portable Nietzsche by Friedrich Nietzsche, The Interpretation of Dreams by Sigmund Freud and more, spotted in The White Lotus (2021)
A Vindication of the Rights of Women by Mary Wollstonecraft, spotted in Sex Education (2019)
Grimm’s Fairy Tales by the Brothers Grimm, spotted in Toy Story (1995)
Moby-Dick by Herman Melville, spotted in Heathers (1989)
Atonement by Ian McEwan, Runaway by Alice Munro, The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini, The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen and more, spotted in The Holiday (2006)
A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking, spotted in Harry Potter and the Prison of Azkaban (2004)
Holidays in Hell by P.J. O’Rourke, spotted in Bridget Jones’s Diary (2001)
Complicity by Iain Banks, spotted in Hot Fuzz (2007)
The Golden Bough by James Frazer and From Ritual to Romance by Jessie Weston, spotted in Apocalypse Now (1979)
Ivanhoe by Walter Scott, spotted in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008)
The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger, spotted in The Shining (1980)
What to Expect When You’re Expecting by Heidi Murkoff, spotted in Arrested Development (2004)


Oct 18, 2022
...Moby-Dick by Herman Melville, spotted in Heathers (1989)...
More than just spotted; it's an integral part of the plot. We can start a thread where books are actually mentioned or discussed in films or on TV. It will probably be a short thread, though.


Rari nantes in gurgite vasto
Staff member
Jul 29, 2005
Back to the news-stands...


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