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Monday, March 26, 2012

Encyclopedia Brittanica

Alas The Brittanica  will no longer published as a dead tree edition.  I for one already having several older dead tree sets of it, would love to have the latest collegiate edition before they finally bite the dust.  I don't know how many times my kids would ask me the answer for a question and my response would be "Look it up."  And them caterwauling that Wikipedia doesn't have the information they need.  I smile smugly and point to the full book cases in my bedroom, where 3 different editions of the Encyclopaedia Brittanica reside.  The oldest first published in 1954, the next newest published in 1966 and the newest of them all published in 1983.  There are also Grolier World Books and Comptons encyclopedia in the mass of book which reside in the bookcases in my room.  It saddens me that I still don't have enought bookcases in my room to get the Grolier Classical Literature volumes put up yet.  But I would purchase or build a new bookcase if I could get a 2012 Edition of The Encyclopaedia Brittanica, the full Collegiate Set  : :hint hint: :  : : nudge nudge: : Brittanica foundation....... 

The Brittanica as an institution of education and the dissemination of knowledge, is one of the greatest things in this world.  For many years it would be said, "Does it appear in the Brittanica?  Yes.  It's real"  As a child growing up, my father knew of my thirst for knowledge.  As an attorney he was able to get for my siblings and myself a well used but maintained set of a 1938 Collegiate edition, the green cloth bound volumes with the onion skin pages for illustrations, and the very slick, thick pages for photographs, the regular pages felt almost like rice paper.  I learned how to do actual research on that set.  However being a 1938 edition in the 1970's meant that much information I would need to satiate my curiosity was then not available to me.  My father triumphed again.  He acquired a 1954 edition, the "Library" type, with leather bindings, and while the books were much larger than the collegiate edition, they were still filled with such wonderful knowledge.  They too were found to be lacking.  In that time of the space race and all the new technologies.  My father couldn't afford a fully new up to date set of Brittanica.  So he got me the World Book by Compton, and all through middle school and high school that was my main source of information.  If I couldn't find it in those volumes, I would tell my dad.  With in a week, at the most there would be a package he and my mother would bring home.  And it would have anywhere from 1 to 9 books for the subject I was studying or interested in.  My parents taught me the joy of learning through the experiences of those old tomes.  Those book would explain to me the reasoning's of what brought about world war one and world war two.  I learned about what were the causes of the Korean Conflict and then something that still gave me nightmares, Vietnam.  I am a child of the Vietnam War.  I was born in 1968, the height of the Vietnam War.  In 1969 I almost died.  I was only 18 months old and fell out of third story window.  When everything was said and done I had had pneumonia several times while in the hospital, requiring me to have part of one of my lungs removed..  I can barely remember my father and mother sitting next to me, I couldn't move.  I remember my parents both crying.  My mothers had touching me.  According to my father I spent several months in the hospital.  While there since I couldn't really do much, my father would always read to me.  I remember him reading to me, and I'm not sure but I think I remember my mother reading to me.  They both weren't there at the same time all the time.  Dad had work and school, and my mom had work and my older brother to take care of.  But they read to me, my dad's strong yet soft voice, I have no memory of what they read to me, but I think that is why I so love to read books, magazines, web sites.  They passed to me their own love of reading and of knowledge.  So through my albeit small library, I hope to do the same for my children.

So Brittanica!  If you could see it in your way of working with me here, I can make monthly payments and I would always make those payments.  Because your creation is something magical to me.  By reading the historical entries, the mind can be taken back, to see what has been written.  To read the Science entries about great pioneers in their respective fields, your mind opens a screen that allows you to hear the words of them as they explain their theories and creations.  I really want a 2012 Collegiate edition of The Encyclopaedia Brittanica.

BOOKSTEVE'S LIBRARY: Encyclopedia Brittanica

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