Digital Digital Get Down

by - March 15, 2012

It's officially the end of an era. Encyclopedia Britannica will no longer produce a printed edition.

After 244 years of taking up an entire shelf at the library, the company will be going entirely digital.

As for the final 32-volume set, it's up for sale on the company's website for a measly $1,400.

Now it may not seem like I'm old enough to have ever used an encyclopedia, but all of my high school papers included encyclopedic references, as did several of my college papers.

Although I find myself using Google multiple times a day to track down information, I prefer printed copies of most things.

There's nothing quite like the feel and smell of an old book, or even a new one.

A world without encyclopedias is hard to imagine. They've been around for as long as I can remember - a source of certified and verified knowledge.

Now it looks like Google will reign forever supreme as the gateway to information. We are officially no longer living in a printed world. The digital age has finally taken over.

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  1. You used encyclopedias in high school? I'm old, Ashton. Books had not yet been invented when I was in school. We read smoke signals.

    I hesitated to comment on this post last night because it's typical for somebody my age to cling to the past and stubbornly resist the changes brought about by modern technology. It makes me seem like an old person with a closed mind and I try very hard not to be that. However I very much agreed with you when you wrote:

    << There's nothing quite like the feel and smell of an old book, or even a new one. >>

    I believe the sense of smell and the sense of touch are both important parts of the learning process. Know how "that new car smell" puts you in a blissful state? The smell of a new book upon opening it has the same effect on you. It puts you in a learning trance. The weight and texture of the book as you hold it, the feel of the pages as you turn them, even the sound of the pages turning, all of those things help to deepen the trance and draw you in, enabling you to stay focused and concentrate. You do not get that same experience or reap the same benefits from an electronic reader or a computer.

  2. what a trip!

    i love the internet, but i still love books, too.

  3. When I heard about this the other day I got a little sad...I was at least happy to hear that they were doing a website and weren't disappearing forever.

    ♥ Shia