I am a huge proponent of ebooks. They’re fantastic and I now prefer reading on my Android phone to an actual book. But that doesn’t one doesn’t feel a genuine sense of loss at this news of the classic encyclopedia series ceasing traditional publication:
After 244 years, the Encyclopaedia Britannica is going out of print.
Those coolly authoritative, gold-lettered reference books that were once sold door-to-door by a fleet of traveling salesmen and displayed as proud fixtures in American homes will be discontinued, company executives said.
In an acknowledgment of the realities of the digital age — and of competition from the Web site Wikipedia — Encyclopaedia Britannica will focus primarily on its online encyclopedias and educational curriculum for schools. The last print version is the 32-volume 2010 edition, which weighs 129 pounds and includes new entries on global warming and the Human Genome Project.
If it weren’t for the pervasive political correctness that has infested encyclopedias for the last 20+ years, I would pick up a set. As it happens, I might consider picking up an older one, ideally the legendary 1911 edition.