The Crunch

Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1768-2012


So the Encyclopaedia Britannica is going out of print after 244 years. I’m sure that people who grew up with the internet probably couldn’t care less about this greatest of all general reference sets— and many of them have probably never even heard of it.

Growing up, our home didn’t have a set of the Britannica—we had instead the more modest World Book encyclopedia (not paedia!) which my parents bought in 1955 and which I still look stuff up in, just for spite. And I feel oddly proud of the fact that the World Book now stands alone as the only general-interest encyclopedia remaining in print. Long live paper and ink!


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