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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

A volume business folds

This is truly the end of an era. We can remember researching in these books, watching door-to-door salesmen trying to sell them to our parents, and listening to Jiminy Cricket sing out the spelling so that we could remember it. Then in high school, we learned the Greek roots of the word: "kuklos," meaning the whole round world; and "paedeia," meaning learning. Nowadays you need to know what "wiki" means -- something else entirely.

Comments (8)

Darwin wins.

Desktops were eaten by laptops, which are being eaten by tablets/iPads which will be eaten by mobiles/PDAs/whatever. So went the hardware.

Too bad they weren't in the information dissemination business, instead of making educational buggy whips.

Our schools could learn from this example... But why bother, when you have a monopoly?

My grandfather bought me a set of encyclopedias the year I was born, and by the time I was five, I was already realizing the limitations of the format. I was just barely old enough to remember Apollo 11, so reading passages about how "one day, man will reach the moon" was jarring even back then. Today, considering that most books on particular technical subjects are already dated by the time they're published, I look back on those days and say "I love living in the future."

It is interesting to see what libraries/bookstores will look like in 10 years. At least authors will get more exposure, the flip side will be managing digital rights of files.

As far as schools - Give up. They're still teaching like they were 2000 years ago (bunch of students in a room going the same speed as the slowest one while teacher talks.)

Anything that could make schools more efficient, say something like Khan Academy where the kids go at their own pace and teachers could spend more time on individual student weaknesses gets shot down by the OEA.

But that's Oregon and that's the way we've always done it.


I had both the EB full set AND the EB Jr. set. Wrote a lot of reports for elementary school with those. I remember a report on Guatemala, in particular. Their national unit of currency is the quetzal, named for their national bird, dontch know? ;o) Funny the tidbits you remember, eh?

But yeah, even the 1966 edition had some serious short comings in 1974.

As factual data is increasingly transferred from something you can hold in your hand to something that requires power, an online presence, and a credit account, the end result will be fewer and fewer people having access to it. Expect a new Dark Ages.

I don't get it, Harry. It seems like they are doing exactly what you would suggest by eliminating the print version of the encyclopedia, but maybe I am missing your point.

At MultCo libraries, you can now "check out" books on your Kindle.

I have a set from 1952 my grandpa left me. They are kinda cool to keep around.

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