Thursday, March 15, 2012

What Do You Think About the End of the Print Edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica?

I was always a World Book Encyclopedia guy myself.  (I wrote about the role that the World Book played in my life here).  I could be wrong, but I think World Book is still coming out in print.

I can't remember the last time I used the print edition of an encyclopedia.  When I was in graduate school and early in my career I wrote a lot of encyclopedia articles (never wrote for World Book or Brittanica), but I always wondered if anyone actually read them or ever will.  I don't even know if I should keep them on my vita.

The New York Times has gathered some writers to reflect on the end of the print edition of Encyclopedia Brittanica.  A.J. Jacobs, who has read the entire EB cover to cover, is sad.  John McWhorter, who bought a full set in 2000, admits that the print edition is a "relic."  Phoebe Ayers takes the opportunity to promote Wikipedia.  Alexander Chee will miss wandering through the pages of the EB in a way that we just can't do with online versions. Stephanie Rosalia, a K-12 librarian, discusses how the end of the print EB will affect schools.

Do you own a hard copy of the Encyclopedia Brittanica?  What are you going to do with it?

2 comments:

Chris Cantwell said...

I think this is an appropriate move, not only given the industry but also given the future of publishing. They're a Chicago based company, and will be partnering with the Newberry on some web stuff, so I think it's great there as well.

John D Wilsey said...

I don't like it at all, but I don't have a good reason.

I own my grandparents' 1975 edition of EB. I used to read them while sitting on the floor of their den. I'm never getting rid of them.