Encyclopedia Britannica No Longer Printed

I read the story by USA Today a couple of days ago. The Encyclopedia Britannica will no longer be available in printed form but they will be continuing their online version. To be honest, I’m surprised they have been printing them this long.

After 244 years and more than 7 million printed sets, the company is announcing today that it will no longer publish a print edition. The last, 32-volume print version, published in 2010, weighs 129 pounds and sells for $1,395.

Only 12,000 sets of the final edition were printed, company President Jorge Cauz says, and 4,000 remain in its inventory.

In an increasingly digital world where the online Encyclopaedia Britannica — which is much larger than the printed version — is updated every 20 minutes, Cauz says, publishing on paper no longer makes sense.

This is the end of an era. When I was a child, the local library allow people to check out older editions of encyclopedias. I used to check out a volume of The World Book Encyclopedia, take it home and skim through the articles. You can pick up a lot of trivia that way. Looking up random articles in Wikipedia is just not the same.

I suppose that within a century the printed book will be a obsolete as the clay tablets the Babylonians used.

The Encyclopedia Babylonica